OP Racial Equity Action Plan
OP Racial Equity Action Plan
DC Office of Planning Racial Equity Action Plan
Mayor Bowser established the Office of Racial Equity (ORE) in 2021 to develop an infrastructure to ensure policy decisions and District programs are evaluated through a racial equity lens and to collaborate with District agencies, residents, and external stakeholders to make meaningful progress toward a more racially equitable city. To advance this work, ORE released a draft of the District’s first Racial Equity Action Plan (REAP) for public comment in November 2022.
The DC Office of Planning (DC OP) is one of 12 District agencies participating in ORE’s inaugural REAP pilot cohort. As part of this program, ORE supported OP in its development of the OP REAP through guidance, fellowship, and technical assistance. OP's REAP provides a space for the agency to set short- and mid-term goals and priorities to advance racial equity in the agency's work and internal processes. OP's REAP is a roadmap to chart a path for the agency to further embed racial equity into its work and internal processes over the next three years.
Four Goals of the OP’s Racial Equity Action Plan
The District Racial Equity Action Plan establishes four overarching goals and provides concrete actions as a roadmap towards implementation. OP’s REAP includes the same overarching goals and sets forth supporting actions that are specific to the agency:
- OP staff understand and are committed to achieving racial equity.
- OP is committed to eliminating racial and ethnic inequities.
- OP is committed to meaningfully engaging community in government decision-making processes and strengthening community partnerships.
- OP is an equitable employer and engages in racially equitable hiring, promotion, and retention practices.
Frequently Asked Questions
A racial equity action plan expresses an agency’s commitment to achieving racial equity in D.C. Having a clear, centralized plan can help agencies to prioritize attention and resources to build the infrastructure of a new status quo – one in which everyone can thrive, and race no longer predicts one’s outcomes. Districtwide, agency-level racial equity plans work in harmony by adapting and embedding the District’s shared vision of racial equity through agency operations in measurable ways to create a whole-of-government response.
A racial equity action plan is both a process and an outcome. As an outcome, a racial equity plan is the agency’s roadmap and detailed itinerary for change. As a process, drafting a racial equity plan builds staff awareness of the agency’s vision for change and capacity to implement that change. A successful process also includes monitoring of and accountability for the plan and communication with internal and external stakeholders on its progress.
OP’s Racial Equity Action Plan provides a space for the agency to set short- and mid-term goals and priorities to advance racial equity in the agency’s work and internal processes. However, this is not the start of OP’s work on racial equity. In addition to OP's racial equity work in housing, zoning, and neighborhood planning, OP has advanced several plans and initiatives in support of racial equity:
- Comprehensive Plan: OP is the steward of the Comprehensive Plan, a high-level guiding document that sets policy priorities for land use, housing, infrastructure, capital investments, and public services. An update to the Comprehensive Plan took effect in August 2021 and enabled the District to meet challenges and harness opportunities in critical areas, including housing, economic recovery, resilience, and racial equity.
- Upward Mobility Action Plan: OP partnered with the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) and the Urban Institute to develop a plan that focuses on building existing cross-agency efforts on housing, financial wellbeing, and workforce development. The resulting Mobility Action Plan will help align District programs and improve the systems that support residents in achieving greater financial security, stronger self-determination, and deeper community ties.
- 2025 Historic Preservation Plan: OP houses the State Historic Preservation Office (HPO), which recently released the 2025 Historic Preservation Plan with the theme “Celebrating Our Diversity.” The plan outlines major preservation initiatives, serves as a guide for the DC Historic Preservation Office (HPO) and the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB), and is a tool for everyone in the District of Columbia who engages with the District's historic environment. As part of plan implementation, HPO is continuing to expand thematic studies of communities that have historically been underrepresented by historic preservation.
For more information on OP's racial equity work, visit planning.dc.gov/racialequity.
So far, OP's REAP public engagement process has included a survey, an Open House, and Focus Group Sessions with District residents and community stakeholders.
OP invites District residents and stakeholders to stay engaged in the REAP planning process by signing up for updates on the Racial Equity Action Plan tab of this page.
You can also reach out to us by visiting OP's website: planning.dc.gov.