U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Cambridge Anti-Racism, Equity & Inclusion Initiative

Thursday, July 14, 2022

This community’s racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity shapes Cambridge and is what makes it a desirable and enriching place to live, work, and raise a family. In order to best serve the Cambridge community, the City must take an inclusive and equitable approach to address residents’ needs.

Inequity and exclusion from services and opportunities are rooted in historical factors that include systemic racism and other forms of oppression. In 2017, the City launched the Cambridge Equity and Inclusion Initiative which expanded the following year to include anti-racism as a key focus. This initiative builds on the City’s solid diversity training foundation that began in the 1990s. The Cambridge Anti-Racism, Equity and Inclusion Initiative (CAEII) supports the City in building an environment that reflects the values of anti-racism, equity, and inclusion. This purpose aligns with the Envision Cambridge goal to “end race-based disparities and achieve racial equity” and strategy to “bring race and cultural diversity to the forefront of local policy-making and increase cultural competency around issues of race.”

Creating and fostering operational and cultural changes requires ongoing work and a long-term focus on both individual and organizational behavior. It is especially important for City leaders to understand and embody the principles and practices of anti-racism, equity, and inclusion in their departments in order to effectively hold their staff accountable for the same.

Since 2018, over 80 City leaders have been learning together in four Cohorts which are guided by a set of Leadership Expectations grounded in four Core Beliefs.

The City’s Core Leadership Beliefs are:

  • We believe that in order to build Equity and Inclusion we need to understand the history of race and the history and development of racism and all forms of oppression that have created inequity and exclusion;
  • We believe all City employees have a responsibility to create Anti-racist environments that support, build, and sustain Equity and Inclusion for all employees and residents;
  • We believe that Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-racism are fostered in the context of meaningful and authentic relationships; and
  • We believe that creating Anti-racism, Equity and Inclusion requires organizations and individuals to continually learn, build skills, and move beyond the fear and discomfort of new learning.

The Cohort Learning Sessions, held every two months, help leaders understand systemic racism and oppression and build their capacity to align their work with Leadership Expectations. To date, the cohorts have:

  • Engaged in training on identity awareness;
  • Engaged in training on systemic racism and systemic oppression;
  • Developed an understanding and tools for interrupting interpersonal aggressions (sometimes known as “microaggressions”);
  • Built leadership skills, including giving and receiving feedback;
  • Refined coaching skills on conscious listening without judgement;
  • Committed to individual learning goals and behavior shifts;
  • Expanded skills regarding stakeholder involvement in decision-making;
  • Identified behaviors for contradicting patterns of dominance that perpetuate exclusion and inequity;
  • Enhanced skills for inclusive meeting practices;
  • Engaged in regular ongoing meetings with peer learning partners; and
  • Learned how to use a new Anti-Racism, Equity, and Inclusion Strategy Filter.

A key outcome of FY22 cohort engagements was the creation of an Anti-Racism, Equity, and Inclusion Strategy Filter, which provides City leaders with a framework and set of questions to help guide development, evaluation, and implementation of internal City policies, practices, and key decisions to ensure alignment with Anti-racism, Equity, and Inclusion values. One desired outcome of deploying this strategy filter is to further operationalize City employees’ responsibility and accountability to create Antiracist environments that support, build, and sustain Equity and Inclusion for all City employees and residents. 

Contact Us

How can we help?

Please provide as much detail below as possible so City staff can respond to your inquiry:

As a governmental entity, the Massachusetts Public Records Law applies to records made or received by the City. Any information received through use of this site is subject to the same provisions as information provided on paper.

Read our complete privacy statement

Service Requests

Enter a service request via SeeClickFix for things like missed trash pickups, potholes, etc., click here