Racial Equity Task Force Subcommittees Outline Initiatives Underway

Dallas County’s Racial Equity Task Force is comprised of six subcommittees led by directors of departments and employees dedicated to achieving racial equity in Dallas County. The subcommittees met for the first time in October and will continue to meet monthly to evaluate existing county initiatives and discuss ideas to achieve more equitable outcomes for Dallas County employees and constituents. 

The six subcommittees include and are led by:

  1. Employment and Training: Human Resources Director Bob Wilson and Human Resources Assistant Director Dr. Jose Melendez
  2. Criminal and Juvenile Justice: Judge Jon Creuzot, Chief Public Defender Lynn Pride Richardson, Executive Director of the Juvenile Department Darryl Beatty and Criminal Justice Director Charlene Randolph
  3. Healthcare and Public Health: Director of Health and Human Services Dr. Philip Huang and Parkland Hospital’s David Lopez
  4. Contracting and Procurement: Purchasing Director Michael Frosch and Assistant Purchasing Director Mario Alvarado
  5. Construction and Transportation: Director of Public Works Alberta Blair and Assistant County Administrator Jonathon Bazan
  6. Economic Development: Director of Planning and Development Luis Tamayo

Examples of subcommittees’ initiatives underway include: 

Employment and Training

  • Review all training county-wide to identify and eliminate racial bias 
  • Develop and implement anti-racism content for all employees  
  • Review hiring practices to ensure access to county job opportunities for all  
  • Review background-check methodology used by Human Resources to screen selected applicants and create a template for hiring managers to understand acceptable risk thresholds 
  • Review the county’s health benefits package to ensure equitable offerings for all employees 
  • Coordinate with Dr. Philip Huang to create a healthy-employee initiative based upon initial new-hire physicals 
  • Develop an outreach role for the recruiter to engage outside stakeholders to obtain feedback on reputation and opportunities   
  • Utilize the engagement survey to gain employee perspective on racial equity
  • Solicit feedback from external stakeholders using townhalls and surveys 
  • Identify community-based involvement for Dallas County directors and managers; consider paid time (four hours per month) to encourage participation
  • Develop an inclusion and diversity role/team for consideration as a full-time position within Dallas County 
  • Establish employee resource groups focused on mentoring high-potential employees  
  • Develop professional anti-racism resources (books, podcasts, films and videos) for directors, managers and supervisors 
  • Utilize Taleo to track and report the reasons for candidate job-offer declines 
  • Track and report recruitment and retention of new hires 
  • Develop impactful training curriculum based upon authentic experiences and dialogue to eliminate institutional racism at Dallas County

Criminal and Juvenile Justice

  • Address equitable public defenders
  • Develop community outreach programs to schools 
  • Dedicate a community advisory board that will work towards abolishing the school-to-prison pipeline
  • Create initiatives addressing mental health
  • Provide Spanish-speaking assistance
  • Work with surrounding police departments to achieve more equitable policies 
  • Prosecute cases equitably 

Healthcare and Public Health

  • Address equitable health outcomes for Dallas County on issues such as pharmacy deserts, mental health, health education and hospital/doctor-office care  

Contracting and Procurement 

  • Restructure bidding processes to be more open to minority vendors pursuing bids (i.e., Does a landscaper really need to have a full, formal presentation if he/she is maintaining the lawn?)
  • Create better systems for hiring
  • Host programs to reach out to minority vendors (programs can include educating vendors on how to go through the process and assisting with technology gaps)  
  • Discuss having vendors be held accountable to equitable practices 

Construction and Transportation 

  • Identify initiatives to achieve equitable outcomes in construction and transportation within Dallas County

Economic Development

  • Address issues such as broadband inequality and food deserts
  • Assist Minority & Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) with business development as well as building capacity and core-competency knowledge