Incorporating Social and Racial Equity into Providence’s Sustainability Planning

Year Complete: 2018
Grant Category: Equity Pilot Initiative
Grant Amount: $50,000
Local Government: City of Providence, RI
Local Foundation: Rhode Island Foundation

Project Purpose

To use a community-driven process to institutionalize the prioritization of racial equity at the City of Providence via the Office of Sustainability.

Key Lessons Learned

Lessons learned about tools and tactics through the project that other sustainability directors could use to advance their work. 

  1. Having a third-party facilitator who is rooted in equity values has been critical in holding this challenging space and moving the work forward.
  2. The project must have the flexibility to shift deadlines and scope based on the state of the relationship between City and community. As the relationship strengthens, the scope can expand. When the tension is too great, the project benefits if it can take a few steps back to assess.
  3. Community members must be resourced to build capacity and community power.
Additional Information and Resources

Read more about the city’s efforts in the Providence Equity in Sustainability Summary Report here.