Compact on Racial Equity
The 2022 Winter Meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors opened in Washington, DC on January 18 with a mayors-only session on racial equity and mayors’ roles in achieving it in their individual cities and ultimately throughout the nation. Introduced in the session was the Mayors’ Compact on Racial Equity, a document developed jointly by the Conference and the African American Mayors Association through the leadership of Austin, TX Mayor Steve Adler and Houston’s Mayor Sylvester Turner, President of the AAMA. In the Compact, mayors commit to advance racial equity in cities by acting, individually and collectively, to dismantle institutional racism and systemic inequities in measurable and sustainable ways.
Mayors Adler and Taylor shared in the presentation of the Compact in the session and encouraged all mayors to sign onto it, and both were recognized for their leadership on racial equity in remarks by San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, Chair of the Conference’s Center for Compassionate and Equitable Cities, and by Montgomery, AL Mayor Steven Reed, the Center’s Vice Chair. Discussion of the Compact was followed by exercises for mayors in the session aimed at achieving more effective cross-racial dialogue; these were led by Glenn Singleton, Founder and CEO of Courageous Conversation, a leadership development agency. Singleton’s Pacific Educational Group has been engaged by Mayor Adler since 2016 to provide “beyond diversity” training both for City leaders and Austin residents.
On November 16, 2022, the Conference and ADL held a virtual meeting with mayors and key city staff to discuss implementation of the Mayors’ Compact. The session was chaired by Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, who presented the Compact at the White House United We Stand Summit, and featured Center Chair San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, ADL CEO and National Director Jonathan Greenblatt, and several top ADL staff members who briefed participants on the State of Hate in the U.S. and assistance they can provide in implementing the Compact in cities. Watch the video of the meeting. Following up on the meeting, ADL has made available materials that should be helpful in implementing the Mayors’ Compact in cities: