The global pandemic that recently plagued our nation affected every demographic grouping in the United States and helped to clearly expose the legacy of structural racism and systemic inequity in state government programs and policies. Numerous research studies dramatically show the vast disproportional harms people of color experienced during 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 Senate Bill 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 that advance racial equity across state agencies and address the 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 with corresponding recommendations.

About The Racial Equity Commission

  • The Commission consists of eleven members. Seven of them are appointed by the Governor, two by the State Assembly, and two by 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 help them review and update specific policies and practices.

The California Racial Equity Coalition (CREC)

The stakeholders who advocated for Senate Bill 17 and helped establish the Racial Equity Commission are now focused on the implementation work of the Commission. This coalition represents a strong group of policy and government program advocates, researchers, organizers, capacity builders, and partners, dedicated to institutionalizing racial equity policy and programmatic work within state government.

Click here to join the California Racial Equity Coalition. Here you will receive updates and information about the commission and the coalition’s work.