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Advancing Racial Equity at SFHSA

Our three-year roadmap advances racial equity within our workforce and creates an inclusive culture for our diverse staff.

Advancing racial equity is one of SFHSA’s core values. As the City’s primary social service provider, our Agency is charged with combating poverty and enhancing well-being for those in need. We embrace our ability and responsibility to address issues of historical racial inequities, many of which have been facilitated through government institutions, in the communities we serve. This is an essential component of our mission to provide support throughout life’s journey for the diverse individuals and families who call our City home.

Woven into everything we do is a recognition of the importance of forging our role in government to redress past inequities and develop new practices to root out structural and institutional racism in San Francisco’s delivery of services to the public.

Our commitment to addressing the broader equity issues faced by the communities we serve also extends inward to create a culture of inclusion and belonging for our employees, with attention to enact policies that address disparities in our workforce.

Advancing racial equity at SFHSA

  • Collaboration: Our journey to formalize and operationalize the Agency’s efforts to advance racial equity began in 2018 with the Agency joining the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE), a national network of government organizations working to achieve racial equity. We also align our work with local legislative mandates and actions led by the Office of Racial Equity, which was created in response to the City’s growing racial disparities as a means to address the history of structural and institutional racism in San Francisco.
  • Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB): In 2020, SFHSA established the DEIB Office in response to our work through GARE. The office focuses on staff engagement and involvement with racial equity work; implementation of agency-wide policy and procedural changes to reach equitable outcomes; opportunities for learning and dialogue about race; and collaboration with City and community partners to advance Citywide racial equity priorities.
  • Racial Equity Work Group: This influential work group of nearly 30 diverse SFHSA employees representing all divisions was formed to give our workforce a voice in the decisions to assess and prioritize racial equity within. Under the direction of the DEIB Office, these champions of racial equity engage colleagues in our implementation of racial equity plans and coordinate recognition events to celebrate the diverse cultural backgrounds and contributions of our 2,500 employees.  

Reports, plans, and resolutions

  • Racial Equity Action Plan (2021): The Plan was drafted in collaboration with the Office of Racial Equity, City partners, and SFHSA racial equity staff leaders. Phase 1 of the Plan is internally focused on advancing racial equity in the City’s workforce with an emphasis on hiring and retaining a diverse workforce; fairness in disciplinary and corrective actions; and creating an inclusive workplace culture. In March 2022, we reported on our progress in an annual report
  • Commission Resolutions (2020): Our Human Services and Disability and Aging Services Commissions have both formalized their commitments to using a racial equity lens in commission authorizations for services, expenditures, and community partnerships, among other key practices: Human Services Commission Resolution | Disability and Aging Services Commission Resolution
  • Advancing Racial Equity at SFHSA: Opportunities in Hiring, Promotion, & Organizational Culture (2019): Through our involvement in GARE, the Agency engaged in an 18-month strategic planning process led by our GARE cohort participants and the SFHSA Racial Equity Workgroup. The report includes findings and recommendations developed through an inclusive process involving focus groups and stakeholder interviews with over 70 staff and labor partners; a case study of hiring trends; and a review of research on best practices for advancing racial equity in the public sector.

More Information

To learn more about our racial equity work, contact HSARacialEquity@sfgov.org.