Office of a variety of skin colors stacking their hands to do a team cheer.

The California Strategic Growth Council’s 2023–2025 Racial Equity Action Plan

The staff of the California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) are thrilled to have published a Racial Equity Action Plan (REAP) for 2022–2025. SGC’s inaugural Racial Equity Action Plan (2019–2022) was the first state-level Racial Equity Action Plan in the nation, and we are excited to build on what we learned from implementing it. The 2022–2025 Plan outlines concrete actions we will take to advance racial equity across five categories across the organization: 1) Leadership, 2) Operations, 3) Grant Programs, 4) Technical Assistance and Capacity Building, and 5) Interagency Collaboration.

The Plan is a statement of intent that will guide our strategy in working toward SGC’s vision for racial equity:

All people in California live in healthy, thriving, and resilient communities regardless of race.

The 2023–2025 Racial Equity Action Plan will guide us in further implementing racial equity actions across all facets of SGC and in partnering with the Strategic Growth Council’s seven state agencies. To do this work, SGC will coordinate closely with the Council members’ agencies on programmatic and policy efforts. SGC will also carry out these efforts in implementing SGC’s Strategic Plan and Governor Gavin Newsom’s historic Executive Order N-16–22 directing state agencies and departments to embed and operationalize equity.

On October 27, 2022, the SGC Health and Equity Program led a conversation on SGC’s racial equity advancement work during a Strategic Growth Council meeting, marking the close-out of the 2019–2022 Racial Equity Action Plan. While the 2023–2025 Racial Equity Action Plan introduces a variety of new topics, it also includes goals and actions from previous years that require ongoing work and attention.

SGC’s vision for racial equity and the strategies laid out in this plan will enable us to continue achieving transformative outcomes and facilitate meaningful co-development of solutions in partnership with communities of color throughout California.

– Lynn von Koch-Liebert, SGC Executive Director

Lessons Learned: Normalizing Racial Equity as a Priority at SGC

In SGC’s racial equity journey, the work to build a culture around taking intentional action to address racial equity was fundamental. By participating in the Public Health Institute’s Capitol Collaborative on Race and Equity (CCORE) State training program in 2018 and 2019 that State of Equity facilitated, SGC created its 2019–2022 Racial Equity Action Plan and successfully presented it to the Strategic Growth Council for approval. These efforts normalized the centering of racial equity in all of SGC’s work, created space for dialogue about what racial equity means within the context of SGC’s portfolio, and established working groups to continue coordinating internal efforts. Through implementation of the 2019–2022 Racial Equity Action Plan, SGC staff made progress on their racial equity goals by initiating cross-programmatic collaboration, deepening engagement with communities, and considering the root causes of inequities. Key accomplishments of SGC’s first Racial Equity Action Plan include:

· Creating new organizational tools such as an annual demographics and workforce equity survey of all SGC staff;

· Administering new internal trainings, working groups, and forums to help staff build organizational capacity around racial equity;

· Developing new communications strategies to elevate the transformative work of SGC partners and grantees to address racial equity;

· Addressing structural barriers that Priority Communities face when trying to accessing SGC resources by developing tribal set aides, establishing new eligibility for unincorporated communities, and augmenting investment in capacity building;

· Creating new intersectional funding approaches that recognize the links between problems such as food access and housing insecurity; and,

· Using SGC public meetings to elevate cross-agency discussions and decision-making around racial equity.

A 2022 staff report further details program progress on the 2019–2022 Plan.

Looking Ahead — 2023–2025 Implementation

SGC’s work for racial equity is an ongoing and evolving process. As we continue to implement these Plans and gain a deeper understanding of the needs of communities we hope to serve, we commit to updating, refining, and recentering racial equity efforts on an ongoing basis.

The purpose of the 2023–2025 Racial Equity Action Plan is to further embed racial equity within each SGC program and across the organization. To build greater accountability in advancing racial equity, each SGC program has set specific, actionable, and measurable goals based on the needs of the communities that each program serves. Newly developed metrics aim to create opportunities to refine our approaches and to facilitate greater transparency in how we’re measuring the impact of these efforts.

The 2023–2025 Racial Equity Action Plan includes several new areas of focus based on feedback from engagement with communities and partners over the course of the last few years. New topics and commitments include:

· Exploring ways to improve under-resourced communities’ and organizations’ access to State funding, such as by using advanced payment and simplified program applications;

· Greater alignment with State-led, interagency racial equity advancement initiatives such as the Racial Equity Commission;

· Exploring new ways to support greater public participation and engagement in SGC-funded projects, such as through community compensation and engagement with ethnic media;

· New relationships and improved partnerships with tribes and tribal-serving organizations in California; and,

· Further inclusion of intersectional approaches to community development and climate funding efforts that prioritize addressing the social determinants of health.

While SGC has had success in working to institutionalize and advance racial equity, there is still much work ahead. Our work to dismantle racial inequities cannot wait, and we remain committed to listening, engaging, partnering, and working to meet the needs of communities of color to achieve a California for All.

To learn more about SGC’s racial equity efforts, email



California Strategic Growth Council (SGC)
California Strategic Growth Council

SGC coordinates and works collaboratively with public agencies, communities, and stakeholders to support healthy, thriving, and resilient communities for all.