Our Vision, Mission, Values
On December 6, the Office of Equity staff presented its draft Vision, Mission and Values to the Board of Supervisors for approval. With very limited time and resources, the Office held conversations in different formats with the community to seek feedback on earlier drafts of the Vision and Mission statements and on our Values.
After evaluating the emerging themes of feedback from communities, the Office ultimately presented the statements below, which were approved by the Board of Supervisors with no changes.
We thank the different members of the public and nonprofit partners who joined us and provided their thoughtful feedback on this work. Additionally, we recognize that this is not the forever and ever be all language, as language is constantly growing to encompass new ideas and to reflect the development of this nascent work inside of institutions and to respond to community.
A Sonoma County where power and resources are distributed equitably; where systems support every community member as they work together to cultivate well-being, agency, and liberation; and where people of all races and identities can live authentically, heal, and thrive.
Our mission is to work in authentic and collaborative partnerships within County government; with Black, Indigenous, and communities of color; and with community members who are disproportionately impacted by systemic inequities to:
- Recognize and disrupt systemic harm,
- Redesign structures and direct resources towards healing, liberation, and belonging,
- Build transparency and accountability in County institutions, policies, and culture.
We recognize anti-Blackness and anti-Indigeneity as the foundation of racial inequity, and we place loving focus on Black, Indigenous, Hispanic/ Latinx/e, Asian, Pacific Islanders, and all communities of color whose lives have been harmed by racism. Therefore, we practice Anti-Racism, which is the active process of identifying and eliminating racism so that power is redistributed and shared equitably.
Design to the Margins
We recognize that race is still the single biggest factor in determining an individual’s health, wealth, and overall well-being, and that simultaneously, community members may experience systemic marginalization at the intersection of many identity markers, including disability, neurodiversity, gender, sexual orientation, documentation status, home language, and many additional social, cultural, or economic factors. Therefore, we use a design-to-the-margins lens to develop programs with and for Indigenous, Black, Hispanic/Latinx/e, Asian, Pacific Islander, communities of color, and community members who have historically and continue to experience harm within government systems.
Collective and Transformative Leadership
We recognize that our government systems have inherited and upheld racist institutions and structures, and that we have a shared responsibility to challenge and transform these systems, together. Therefore, we cultivate change and encourage leadership across County departments to normalize conversations about racism and racial equity, create healing spaces, and build capacity and infrastructure, so that together we can implement practices, programs, and policies that disrupt the perpetuation of inequities.
We recognize that the people who are closest to the challenges are also closest to the solutions. Therefore, we work to build trusting, reciprocal relationships with communities; to learn from, amplify, and operationalize their wisdom and experiences; and to resource them in the co-design process.
Healing Centered Practices
We recognize that government practices have created historical, intergenerational, and present-day trauma for many members of our community; and that these practices of fragmentation and othering harm us all, even as they do so in different and unequal ways. Therefore, we utilize practices within the Office of Equity, within County government, and in our relationships with community members that center individual and collective healing and repair.
Strategic Community Investments
We recognize that the inequities folks in our community experience are, in part, the result of government disinvestment. Therefore, we collect and analyze local qualitative and quantitative data to determine which communities are most impacted by these inequities, so that we can support strategic investments in those communities.
Transparency & Accountability
We recognize that the distrust some communities have towards government is the direct result of governmental harm, and that moving forward, government is responsible for building and earning trust. Therefore, we hold ourselves accountable to community members for transforming the policies, practices, and programs that have led to racialized disproportionate outcomes; and we commit to communicating openly and bidirectionally with community members about our processes and practices.