On Tuesday, October 4, 2022, the Olmsted County Board of Commissioners accepted the final report with recommendations in the joint study of race and racism as a public health issue. The recommendations were the result of more than two years of work by volunteers on the Olmsted County Public Health Services Advisory Board (PHSAB) and the Olmsted County Human Rights Commission (HRC).
The information below highlights the work underway since fall 2022 when commissioners directed county employees to move forward with the next phase of this project. As the county moves forward with further evaluation and action, this work will now be called the Olmsted County Racial Equity Initiative.
Olmsted County Racial Equity Initiative goals
The goals of the Olmsted County Racial Equity Initiative are to evaluate the 42 recommendations across nine focus areas and prepare an organization-wide response.
Who is leading the initiative?
- The Olmsted County Board of Commissioners serves as the governing board to this initiative.
- Oversight is being provided by Olmsted County’s Executive Management Team (EMT).
- The One Olmsted Joint Study Response Team will help guide and consult on the process.
In addition, One Olmsted is in the process of establishing a community council. The council will consist of Olmsted County residents that will work to help eliminate disparities and create equitable outcomes for all. One function of the community council will be to serve as advisors for the Racial Equity Initiative. Council members will monitor the progress of implementation, provide input to the county as it considers the recommendations in detail, and liaison to community groups.
What are the next steps?
The following steps for the Olmsted County Racial Equity Initiative are underway and are expected to be complete by mid-summer 2023.
- Identify and interview the employees and programs that align with and will evaluate the joint study recommendations for next steps.
- Collect information from employees to determine current assets related to the joint study recommendations and what opportunities and barriers exist as we move forward.
- Based on the information collected, discuss, and prioritize the next steps with Olmsted County board committees.