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A Toolkit for Centering Racial Equity Throughout Data Integration

Front Page of A Toolkit for Centering Racial Equity Throughout Data Integration
October 2023
Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy

This tool includes information on data sharing and data integration to inform decision making across government entities is now commonplace, and occurs at every level—local, state, and federal. While most data sharing and integration occurs within a legal and governance framework, an emphasis on racial equity, transparency, and community engagement is often peripheral. This is especially troubling because government policies and programs that produce administrative data have often played a direct role in creating, enabling, and sustaining institutional and structural racism. We aim to change this. With trust in government and experts (e.g., researchers) at historic lows,1 efforts that rely exclusively on these institutions to “use data to solve social problems” are unlikely to succeed. Too often government organizations and their research partners fail to identify and address issues of bias in data. Further, even if such issues are identified, these organizations are not equipped to repair trust with communities that have experienced harm. This body of work seeks to encourage shifts of awareness and practice, by centering racial equity and community voice within the context of data integration and use. Our vision is one of ethical data use with a racial equity lens, that supports power sharing and building across agencies and community members. 

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