The pandemic clearly exposed the legacy of structural racism and systemic inequity in state government programs and policies. Numerous research studies show that people of color were disproportionately harmed by the pandemic. The growing evidence of these glaring and widespread inequities sparked a national movement towards racial justice.

In 2021, NextGen and fellow equity advocates co-sponsored SB 17 (Pan), which contributed to the Newsom Administration’s decision to issue an Executive Order (EO) to establish a statewide Racial Equity Commission. The Commission is required to recommend strategies to advance racial equity across state agencies to address systemic racism in government programs and policies that have resulted in poorer health, economic, and social outcomes in communities of color. Specifically, the Commission is required to create a Racial Equity Framework, provide technical assistance to departments and local governments, engage in community outreach, and publish an annual report on racial disparities and corresponding recommendations.

The Racial Equity Commission

  • The Commission consists of eleven members. Seven of them will be appointed by the Governor, two from the State Assembly, and two from the State Senate.
  • The Commission will produce a Racial Equity Framework consisting of resources and tools to promote racial equity and address structural racism.
  • The Commission has the authority to:
    • Hold hearings and perform acts that may be necessary to carry out the commission’s duties.
    • Engage with advisers or advisory committees as determined by the Commission to conduct its work.
  • The Commission will recommend tools, methodologies, and best practices to advance racial equity and, upon request, provide direct assistance to state agencies to assist them in reviewing and updating specific policies and practices.

Click here to join the Racial Equity Commission advocacy working group. Here you will receive updates and information about the commission.

Meaningfully addressing inequities and racial disparities is a hard road that requires sustained leadership, community-based solutions, and purposeful action to drastically change the social and economic conditions for those who have been historically most harmed. California’s journey towards justice is long but has the potential to put the state on a path that is equitable and institutionalizes anti-racist solutions for everyone.
Elena Santamaria

Elena SantamariaPartnerships Manager and Senior Policy Advisor

Our Focus on Racial Equity

Fighting for racial, social, gender, and economic equity to address the legacy of institutional and systemic racism in government programs and policies.

More on Racial Equity

Elena Santamaria

Partnerships Manager and Senior Policy Advisor

Stay Updated!

Stay up-to-date with our work on Racial Equity.