Our Equity Framework

The Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) is a national membership organization for jurisdictions committed to advancing equity. Montgomery County joined the network in 2019 as a Core Member. What this means is that our policy direction will align with their directives and we will adapt to different strategies coming out of national best practices around advancing equity. GARE recommends a three-pronged approach to systematically reducing and eliminating racial inequities in government: normalizing, organizing and operationalizing for race.


Institutional racism is like water to a fish. It's a fundamental reality of their existence, but invisible until it's pointed out. Normalizing works to point this out to County staff. We must establish a set of shared definitions and normalize the use of them. Working with race is uncomfortable. Providing support and exposing County Staff to the language of racial equity is one of the most important steps for the Office of Racial Equity and Social Justice. Click here for our list of frequently used terms and definitions.


No individual department or organization can create racial equity on its own. Dismantling something so universal requires building relationships across the organization. Montgomery County has a diverse workforce and community organizing culture. The Office of Racial Equity and Social Justice intends to create opportunities for employees to work across department and sector to build a learning community all while staying grounded in the lived experience of Montgomery County’s communities of color.

In Organizing, we ensure the work reflects the voice of those most harmed by inequity.

Join the Office of Racial Equity in doing this work - CORE team one pager and online application


This step brings the other steps together, and feeds back into them. In operationalizing, the Office of Racial Equity and Social Justice works to advance racial equity with County departments, this means understanding where their work drives or addresses inequity. In operationalizing, each division will use an assessment tool to analyze their current policies, practices, and procedures through an equity lens. From there, each division will develop a Racial Equity Action Plan to address racial inequities and create long-term, equity focused solutions towards developing equitable, just, and fair programs, initiatives, and opportunities for communities of color.

Read more about GARE’s approach to operationalizing here.

Why Lead the Race?

The Government Alliance for Race and Equity leads with race, with the recognition that the creation and perpetuation of racial inequities has been baked into government, and that racial inequities across all indicators for success are deep and pervasive. We also know that other groups of people are still marginalized, including based on gender, sexual orientation, ability and age, to name but a few. Focusing on racial equity provides the opportunity to introduce a framework, tools and resources that can also be applied to other areas of marginalization. We also seek to acknowledge the history of racialized policies in the US that has contributed to the current condition of advantage and disadvantage in our country.