Let's Get REAL - Race, Equity and Leadership

REAL Advisement for Racial Equity 

 The REAL team remains in solidarity with our community and our Mayor in dismantling the systems of oppression that have lead to the underlying disparities impacting our community's health and well being. We encourage all businesses to not just declare a statement of equity but to embed equity into their policies, practices, procedures, structures, and relationships within and across organizations. Now is the time to act. 

Progress being made toward REAL's mission

Below is a progress bar to show how the City is moving forward with the REAL initiative. Progress is shown via a color change from grey to brown to indicate where the City is in its process. Each section relates to the initial REAL charter that was published in January of 2019. 

 REAL Progress Bar (14)

The REAL Reel   



Dr. Leonard, Director of RMAPI, United Way Steve Jarose, Director of the National Coalition Building Institute  
Tremain Harris, City Youth Organizer Jamie Saunders, President & CEO, Rochester United Way       
Mawia Elawad, Community Advocate William Johnson Jr., Former Rochester Mayor  

History of Advancing Racial Equity in Rochester 

On Jan. 22, 2019, Mayor Lovely A. Warren and representatives from the City Council and the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, signed a historic project charter that provides a framework for Rochester to implement specific strategies to advance racial equity through smart policy decisions, strong civic engagement, and accurate and complete portrayals of people of color in our community.

That charter, known as Let's Get REAL - Race, Equity and Leadership, is an effort that started in 2017 with help from the National League of Cities, and involves ongoing work in the community over this year and beyond. Rochester was one of six cities chosen in 2018 for its "Racial Healing Technical Assistance Initiative."

To view the project Charter, click here>> 
To see photos from the news conference and signing ceremony, click here>>       
To read the proclamation for the National Day of Racial Healing, click here>> 

Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI) Training
REJI Change Team Training

Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI) is a community effort led by St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center--funded by Governor Cuomo--to dismantle racism at all levels of our society. Currently, over 20 organizations across Monroe County are participating in this community-wide effort.

As a city we took our first steps into this initiative on Sept. 24-25 with our first Change Teams training. Nearly 55 City employees were part of a crowd of over 200 people who took part in the REJI Kick-off training. We were honored to have Dr. Ken Hardy, Director of the Eikenberg Institute for Relationships in New York City, speak to the importance of doing this work and operationalizing and normalizing racial equity work in any organization. Dr. Hardy emphasized the importance of a multi-dimensional self-awareness and relational approach to racial equity, and stated, “There is no small or global problem where the solution isn’t relational.”

For more information on the REJI Change teams, click here>>

Links to Rochester groups offering trainings 

Links to Other Resources

Recommended Videos