Welcome to the Office of Equity and Inclusion Dashboard!

There is a lot of talk about equity and inclusion.  The purpose of this dashboard is to define equity and inclusion, explain why we’re working through a lens of equity and inclusion, and give an overview of what the Office of Equity and Inclusion does.

Office of Equity and Inclusion Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why do we focus on equity and not equality? 

Equality is about sameness and might work if the playing field were truly level but we can look at data, as well as, historic and modern-day policies, and see that that’s not the case.  Equity, on the other hand, is about creating conditions where all people can participate, prosper, and thrive in our society. We prioritize racial equity because racism exacerbates all other forms of oppression. 

What do we do in the Office of Equity and Inclusion?

In the Office of Equity and Inclusion we work to foster a fair and inclusive culture across city government by providing training, consultation and promoting equitable policies, practices, and procedures. 

Special notice from the Office of Equity and Inclusion

Our world has been changed by two pandemics. One being COVID-19 and the other being systemic racism which has gained national attention with the murder of George Floyd and the resulting civil unrest. It is the current impact of systemic racism and social inequities that allows COVID-19 to disproportionately impact Black, Indigenous, People of Color, not only in North Carolina, but across the country. Why is this? Social inequities such as segregation, poverty, and the impact of chronic health outcomes on communities of color has increased vulnerability to COVID-19. As our social consciousness continues to expand, we recognize the need to address racism and social inequities in every one of our institutions.  We focus on equity because equity is about  process and outcomes. In order to move forward in a way that truly benefits us all, we must recognize the past and present impacts of social inequities on our most impacted communities to work towards a more equitable future. 

Equity Today

  • Business Inclusion

  • The City of Asheville’s approach starts by recognizing that the disparities we observe today result from overtly racist and sexist policies in the past combined with present-day policies and procedures that, while not overtly racist or sexist, nevertheless actively perpetuate those disparities. Addressing the combined impact of these factors requires both internal and external work and, importantly, will take sustained effort over time.

  • Workforce Equity

  • At the City of Asheville, our goal is to reduce racial disparities within City government by eliminating racial disparities in hiring and promotions and improving retention rates of our employees of color. We want to create a culture of inclusion where our employees’ skills and talents and valued. For more information on what we’re doing to advance equity and inclusion in our workforce, please view the Equity Action Plan.

  • Racial Healing

  • In support of Asheville City Council’s Vision 2036 of an equitable and diverse community, the Office of Equity and Inclusion is launching a mini grant program to support existing projects  in Asheville that promote racial healing, reconciliation, and/or transformation in Asheville communities. The communities of focus are those who were most impacted by government policies and practices that caused racial trauma and/or displacement. Our intent is not to initiate new projects, but to support those projects already established in the community.

  • Training

  • In the Office of Equity and Inclusion, we know that training is one piece of advancing equity and inclusion. Whether we’re using the space to bring awareness or to sharpen our racial equity skills, we work to create environments where people can connect, practice, and grow. We also try to be responsive to things happening in our communities and the educational needs of our staff.