West Palm Beach Racial & Ethnic Equality Action Summit 2021

West Palm Beach Racial & Ethnic Equality Action Summit – June 12, 2021

Here is information that will are going to be discussing at the Action Summit on June 12th, 2021.


Part 1

10:00 AM: Opening Remarks by Mayor Keith James


  • Ground Rules
  • Agenda Review
  • Opening Poll: Who’s Participating?

“Setting the Baseline” – Task Force Co-Chairs

Criminal Justice

  • Subcommittee Update
  • Breakout Discussion


  • Subcommittee Update
  • Breakout Discussion

Polling – Criminal Justice Themes


Part 2

Real Estate & Housing

  • Subcommittee Update
  • Breakout Discussion

Finance, Banking & Business

  • Subcommittee Update
  • Breakout Discussion

Polling – Health Themes
Polling – Real Estate & Housing Themes

Education & Workforce Development

  • Subcommittee Update
  • Breakout Discussion

Polling – Finance, Banking & Business Themes


Part 3

“Understanding Root Causes: Legacies of the Past Still Felt in the Present”
– Corinna Moebius, PhD

Education & Workforce Development Theme Team Report & Poll Results

Final Remarks by Mayor Keith James

Evaluation Survey



For each of the topic areas below, participants were asked the following breakout discussion questions:


  • Which of the subcommittee ideas seems on target?
  • Are there ideas or issues that the subcommittee is not talking about but should be? Where would you like to see the conversation go?
  • How do you want to help move the conversation forward?


> Priority 1:
Build a diverse team of police officers and create opportunities for the community to participate in a police review or advisory board

  • Review hiring, promotion and retention policies and practices in the WPB Police Department
  • Assess if and how community members can serve on a review or advisory board

Current ideas being discussed regarding Priority 1:

  • Develop strategies for retaining police officers, particularly of color
  • Target hiring of police officers who are residents of West Palm Beach
  • Establish a Civilian Complaint Review Board or a Community Transparency Board
  • Establish a portal for residents or other stakeholders to submit information or issues

> Priority 2:
Assess racial equity training and tools for increased cultural sensitivity of WPB police officers

  • Revisit training requirements for officers on racial equity and related topics
  • Explore ways of increasing cultural sensitivity of police officers

Current ideas being discussed regarding Priority 2:

  • Develop a measurement tool to assess the impact of the racial sensitivity training in WPB
  • Institute randomized reviews or monitoring of police body cam footage to evaluate officer conduct
  • Include a field training requirement that new officers should attend community meetings and have greater interaction with community members in their area.


> Priority 1:
Improve access to and education about healthcare services and wellbeing resources

  • Determine policies to increase access to healthcare services
  • Determine opportunities to increase access to healthy, affordable food options
  • Explore ways to improve education about proactive and preventative health and resources

Current ideas being discussed regarding Priority 1:

  • Determine ways to collect greater de-segregated data and info about health disparities, homelessness, familial health and support.
  • Target resources towards community-based clinics and assess how many hospital clinics are located in underserved communities.
  • Create mobile services to address medical needs in communities that lack easily accessible healthcare.
  • Promote policies aimed at ensuring equitable access to healthy, affordable food options.

> Priority 2:
Address unequal distribution of information and build trust between marginalized communities and health institutions

  • Identify community partners for info-sharing
  • Develop strategies for addressing historical mistrust, cultural differences, and other barriers from marginalized communities

Current ideas being discussed regarding Priority 2:

  • Build partnerships with community leaders, such as clergy members, to distribute health information and education.
  • Build communities’ desire for greater educational opportunities on how patients can access healthcare.


> Priority 1:
Expand options for decent and affordable housing for both homebuyers and renters

  • Review housing policies and programs in the city
  • Explore sustainable strategies and ways to implement best practices in affordable housing

Current ideas being discussed regarding Priority 1:

  • Focus policies and strategies on building affordable housing on city-owned land
    Develop programs that target use of vacant lots
    Establish new or additional partnerships to buy distressed properties, especially in Historic Northwest
    Partnerships with schools and youth programs to beautify neighborhoods
    Develop strategies to discourage investors from holding onto dilapidated property in impoverished communities and encourage development
    Determine incentives or ways to support landlords in addressing substandard conditions inside of units
    Invest resources to prioritize code enforcement in the most blighted areas and other targeted neighborhoods

> Priority 2:
Mitigate financial barriers and increase programs and funding for prospective homebuyers

  • Assess investment disparities among neighborhoods and jurisdictions within the city
  • Identify obstacles for new homebuyers, such as lender practices

Current ideas being discussed regarding Priority 2:

  • Enhance communications and information-sharing about avenues to homeownership and support programs (e.g. partnerships between city’s marketing department and homeownership programs)
  • Greater investment in programs that help people purchase homes
  • Establish safeguards that support individuals in moving from renting to ownership


> Priority 1:
Improve relationships between small business and banking and finance institutions and reduce existing barriers that impede business owners within marginalized communities

  • Assess impediments in both contracting and entrepreneurship
  • Develop strategies to address language barriers

Current ideas being discussed regarding Priority 1:

  • Support partnerships between banks and community organizations that provide financial education and resources to the communit
  • Develop or support initiatives that solicit bids from and offer contracts to small and medium businesses
  • Invest in strategies to support entrepreneurs to become business owners
  • Create an easily accessible directory of minority-owned businesses that the city promotes
  • Provide better education about and guidance through the loan application process
  • Create a pamphlet or small business starter kits in all languages
  • Establish Small Business Mentors or Ambassadors who can provide new business owners with the guidelines on how to open a business

> Priority 2:
Support residents’ economic advancement by addressing gaps in opportunities to access capital and build wealth

  • Determine policies to provide more accessible and affordable banking for marginalized communities
  • Assess opportunities for financial institutions to support pathways to homeownership

Current ideas being discussed regarding Priority 2:

  • Support minority homeownership


> Priority 1:
Improve offerings of career development, workforce training, and education opportunities for youth and adults

  • Understand community needs and provide career development and vocational training
  • Develop strategies to address barriers in marginalized communities

Current ideas being discussed regarding Priority 1:

  • Improve info sharing and outreach about current opportunities available to the community
  • Leverage business partnerships and resources
  • Offer financial incentives to businesses that hire a participant in workforce dev. training
  • Research the needs and most popular or desired jobs in the city so that workforce programs tailor their training towards those jobs.
  • Establish community-based, centrally located services.
  • Promote continuing ed opportunities for businesses

> Priority 2:
Elevate the quality of resources for under-resourced schools by attracting and retaining qualified teachers and improving school supports

  • Assess the current landscape of WPB schools and understand the needs regarding resources, programs, and supports
  • Explore options such as wrap-around support services, free after-school programming, and cultural enrichment

Current ideas being discussed regarding Priority 2:

  • Apply for grants to cover the cost of educational experts and highly qualified teachers that support literacy and enrichment programs
  • Partner with businesses to provide enrichment programs, technical support, funding, and job opportunities
  • Explore sustainable funding sources that go beyond program-specific grants
  • Focus on early childhood education
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