In October of 2020, the City of Raleigh and the Shaw University Center for Racial and Social Justice (CRSJ) entered into a partnership to launch the "Courageous Community Conversations" initiative. The initiative's stated objective was to "advance racial and social equity in the City of Raleigh, to work with community leaders, citizens, scholars, and business leaders for a solutions-focused comprehensive plan for positive change."
Pursuant to this goal, the CRSJ designed and administered a survey to determine the topic areas the community felt were of most importance in advancing racial and social equity in the city. The survey garnered more than 3,500 unique responses and revealed that the topics the community felt were of most relevance included affordable housing, education, access to transportation and employment opportunities, policing, mental health, and discrimination.
The CSRJ curated a series of five public forums that brought together policy experts, community and business leaders, and members of the public to discuss each of these topics and uncover potential solutions to address the present challenges in each thematic area. The CRSJ, in partnership with the Raben Group, has taken the learnings and potential policy solutions that emerged from these public discussions and has incorporated them into a final report.