The Citizens’ Advisory Council on Equity (CACE) has been charged by legislation to review, analyze and provide recommendations to the Cuyahoga County Executive and County Council to reduce and ultimately eliminate disparities between Black and White people as it relates to healthcare, the criminal justice system, safe and affordable housing, well-paying jobs and business ownership in Cuyahoga County.
As an integral part of the process to meet this obligation, the CACE established “Community Conversations on Structural Racism.” The series of conversations provided residents and community members an opportunity to share their thoughts, experiences, and perspectives on racism in Cuyahoga County, as well as their recommendations and solutions to reduce and to ultimately end these disparities. As a part of the information gathering process, these perspectives and recommendations will be included in the final document.
These virtual “Community Conversations on Structural Racism” consisted of small groups of eight or less participants with a facilitator and scribe. The facilitator posed three guiding questions for discussion and the scribes captured responses and reoccurring themes.
To date, over 200 residents and community members have participated in three of the Community Conversations. Members of the CACE distributed a post discussion survey to learn of additional thoughts and recommendations from participants.
There were over 90 responses to the post discussion survey, representing nearly 45% of participants providing additional information. It should be noted, participants expressed approval of the structure and process as it permitted intimate and personal conversations in a non-threatening and comfortable environment.
As a next step, the CACE has forwarded the post discussion survey responses to Cleveland State University’s Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs for further examination of the results and identification of reoccurring themes.