Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Adopts Social Equity Resolution
July 12, 2016
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors adopted the One Fairfax Resolution. The resolution directs the development of a racial and social equity policy to ensure all individuals in Fairfax have an opportunity to reach their highest level of personal achievement.
An intentional focus on racial and social equity positions Fairfax County to proactively and collectively, with schools and communities, including businesses, faith organizations, nonprofits and others, identify and improve policy and institutional strategies that will not just eliminate gaps, but increase success for all. The resolution is intended as a joint effort between the Board of Supervisors and Fairfax County School Board, with the School Board slated to review the resolution later this month.
“One Fairfax emphasizes the importance of making County-wide decisions through the lens of racial and social equity,” said Fairfax County Chairman Sharon Bulova. “This is a formal declaration that will help shape decisions regarding education, land use, zoning and public-private partnerships. I am proud to represent a county that values our diverse community and supports our students, residents, workforce, and business owners of every race, socio-economic status, and background.”
Over the last several years, Fairfax County has undertaken several initiatives to address disparities in a variety of areas including juvenile justice, education, employment, self-sufficiency, health, and child welfare. Most recently, the Board of Supervisors recognized the importance of equity as a driver of the county’s future economic success in its 2015 adoption of the Strategic Plan to Facilitate Economic Success; and the Successful Children and Youth Policy Team (SCYPT), comprised of County and school leadership and community representatives, has identified racial and social equity as an integral component to improving educational, health, and life outcomes for youth.
“We are excited to work with the schools and all of our partners in SCYPT to collectively identify gaps and intentionally adopt policy and strategies that will help to ensure all youth have an opportunity to reach their full potential,” said Patricia Harrison, deputy county executive of health and human Services.
Fairfax County’s Strategic Plan to Facilitate Economic Success adopted in 2015 also lays out goals and strategies to maintain and enhance our strong and vital community in order to sustain and grow our economic prosperity. One of the unique elements of this plan is the inclusion of social equity as a primary component. Specifically, Goal 5, Action Item 5.5 of the Plan calls for the exploration of policy opportunities, strategies or frameworks to address the issue of social equity within the context of economic success. Adoption of the One Fairfax Resolution is the first step to meeting this requirement.
One Fairfax moves us beyond embracing our growing diverse population to implementing a growth model driven by equity. A racial and social equity policy provides both the direction and means to work together with schools and communities to eliminate disparities and build a vibrant and opportunity-rich society for all.