About Us

Welcome to the Equity and Restorative Practices

The Equity and Restorative Practices Unit works to implement best practices, assessment and resources in Howard County Government and for the public to promote the interplay between individual and communal dignity, rights, and responsibilities.

Equity recognizes that we are born into unequal and unjust circumstances – and these factors should not predict our ability to fail or succeed. As described by PolicyLink, a national research and action institute advancing racial and economic equity, communities are equitable when ALL residents regardless of their race/ethnicity, nativity, gender, income, neighborhood of residence, or other characteristics are fully able to participate in the economic vitality, contribute to the region’s readiness for the future, and connect to the region’s assets and resources.

In order to effect sustainable systems transformation, the ERP unit is working within County government to dismantle all forms of perceived or actual inequities, supporting County Departments’ responses to equity related community needs, and we track and help advance the County-wide effort around advancing equity. We believe that equity is everyone’s job, and our unit provides resource assistance and training to County Departments using equity specific tools and operationalizing equitable policies, programs, and procedures within county government.

Our Restorative Practices work draws on indigenous values of belonging, mastery, interdependence, and generosity. According to Brendtro et al. (2019), it is our human bonds that enable us to survive and thrive. The ERP sets goals and measures our progress, with the recognition that strategies must be targeted, so that we can close the gaps in outcomes that our most marginalized communities experience.

The Equity and Restorative Practices Unit honors and stands in solidarity with community organizers and all of the people who are agents of equity and racial justice.

Our Commitments:

  • Examining how racism and biases lives in each of us as individuals, and in the fabric of our organization and its policies, culture, and procedures;
  • Holding ourselves accountable to equitable and excellent outcomes in the departments with which we work;
  • Holding ourselves accountable by providing consistent, transparent, and candid reviews of our working community strategies, programs, and commitments;
  • Educating ourselves and taking action to grow as an equity focused organization.