Mayor Kenney Signs Executive Order on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Directive formalizes City’s Racial Equity Initiative, adds training and review requirements for departments
PHILADELPHIA—Mayor Kenney signed an Executive Order today, among the first of his second term, to expand the Administration’s focus on diversity, equity and inclusion and formalize the creation of the City’s Racial Equity Initiative. Executive Order No. 1-20 builds on the work done under Executive Order No. 1-16, which Mayor Kenney signed on his first day in office in 2016. That earlier order appointed the City’s first Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer and created the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
Executive Order No. 1-20 includes five key areas, details of which are included below:
- Renaming the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to include “Equity”
- Establishing formal oversight of the Office of LGBT Affairs and Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities
- Launching a City-wide Employment Diversity and Inclusion Initiative
- Introducing the City-wide Racial Equity Initiative
- Mandating diversity, equity and inclusion training
“From my very first day in office, I have been committed to creating a culture of inclusion within City government,” said Mayor Kenney. “For the past four years, we have worked to promote opportunities for all Philadelphia residents in City employment, business and services. While I am proud of what we have accomplished together so far, I also know there is still a great deal of progress that must be made in order to build a city that truly works for all.”
In the second term, the Kenney Administration is committed to embedding racial equity as an explicit governing principle—a lens all City departments and agencies will use to assess how their operations, including policies and procedures, impact all Philadelphians, including people of color. The Administration will take a more coordinated and comprehensive approach to dismantling institutional barriers to success that impact marginalized communities, including: people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, women, people with disabilities, and low-income households. By centering racial equity, the City will be able to develop a framework, tools and resources that can be applied to improve outcomes across all communities.
“As we enter our second term, our Administration wants to ensure that City government is focused on true equity—rather than just fairness or equality,” Mayor Kenney added. “Our policy-making, service delivery, and distribution of resources must account for the different conditions of the communities we serve. Through this Executive Order, we are creating a shared framework for action against the systemic factors that are still perpetuating disparate outcomes for our residents today. When we are able to correct historical wrongs and address current practices that perpetuate inequity, all communities benefit.”
By expanding the mandate of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and establishing additional directives for all City departments, the Kenney Administration aims to create a city where race does not predict outcomes for its residents and diversity is recognized as one of Philadelphia’s greatest assets. The Executive Order is an acknowledgement of local government’s important relationship to the conditions that perpetuate racial inequity. It also serves as the framework that will guide the Administration’s efforts to implement sustainable change aimed at addressing inequities in all major indicators of success, including: health, criminal justice, education, jobs, housing, and more. Ongoing efforts will include making improvements to internal operations, shifting organizational culture and policies, and implementing a cross-sector approach that centers on communities of color.
“This Executive Order will allow the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to better coordinate with City departments to ensure they are elevating racial equity in their operations,” said Nolan Atkinson, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer. “The annual workforce and workplace reviews are designed to assure that departments are continuously thinking about how they can build a talented, diverse workforce through more robust recruitment and retention programs. Mandatory diversity, equity and inclusion training is required because it helps to ensure everyone is treated in a fair and respectful way.”
Details of Executive Order No. 1-20
Renaming the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to include “Equity”
The first portion of the executive order changes the name of the “Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer” to the “Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer.” This section of the order also updates the name of the office to the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Establishing formal oversight of the Office of LGBT Affairs and Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities
Both the Office of LGBT Affairs and Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities reported to the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer during the first term of the Kenney Administration. The Executive Order formally establishes that the two offices will be housed under the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to better allow for intersectionality across the office’s work.
Launching a City-wide Employment Diversity and Inclusion Initiative
Beginning in 2020, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will work with departments on annual Employment Diversity and Inclusion Plans. These reviews will include annual workforce planning. They will analyze the work each department is doing to recruit diverse candidates, ensure an inclusive environment, promote professional development, and solicit employee feedback.
Introducing the City-wide Racial Equity Initiative
The Executive Order formalizes the creation of the City’s Racial Equity Initiative. All City departments will be required, by the end of 2023, to conduct Racial Equity Assessments and create Racial Equity Action Plans. Departments will complete these assessments and action plans in a phased approach, beginning with the first cohort of departments in 2020. Short-term efforts will focus on improving service delivery, internal practices and community engagement, with a long-term goal of closing gaps in outcomes so that race no longer predicts a person’s success.
Mandating diversity, equity and inclusion training
The Executive Order establishes mandatory diversity, equity and inclusion training for all City managers and supervisors every three years. The initial training will lead to other, more specific trainings on subjects including disability competency, LGBTQ+ competency, ADA compliance, and racial equity.