Racial Equity

We are proud to be talking more frequently and in greater detail about the need for racial equity. We hope you’ll join us in taking action within our organization and community. When policies and procedures are revised to address disparate impact and disproportionality, people of different races will be one step closer to enjoying the same outcomes.

Share and read relevant articles by joining the Racial Equity Committee group on Facebook.

Attend monthly virtual meetings:

The committee chair is Robin Benton, a NOBL board member who also runs the Undoing Racism Grand Rapids Facebook page.

We are excited to be hosting an Undoing Racism Workshop for multiple neighborhood organizations this April thanks to the generous support of:

NOBL Racial Equity Projects


Intern Katlyn Johns created brochures on housing and health disparities.


We conducted conversations on two portions of the localized power analysis.



Demographic Profiles


Other Useful Links

The City of Grand Rapids’ Human Rights Ordinance, within Title IX of Grand Rapids’s Code of Ordinances. It is now a criminal misdemeanor to call 911 on protected classes who have not done anything wrong. The ordinance addresses concerns that residents are placing calls in to police on the basis of biases, such as racism, rather than for an actual crime being committed. The ordinance aims to protect everyone from any form of discrimination.

Citizens of Grand Rapids of any protected class who feel they have been discriminated against in housing, employment, public accommodation, contracting, or in bias crime reporting can fill out a report with the city Office of Equity and Engagement. Anything the city cannot help you with directly, they will refer you to the proper agency that can help with your claim.

More information on the population of Belknap Lookout can be found in GVSU’s Johnson Center’s Community Profiles.

AddictionResource.net recommends this article on disparities in substance abuse treatment.

The People's Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB) Anti-Racist Principles
Analyzing Power
As a society, we often believe that individuals and/or their communities are solely responsible for their conditions. Through the analysis of institutional power, we can identify and unpack the systems external to the community that create the internal realities that many people experience daily.

Developing Leadership
Anti-racist leadership needs to be developed intentionally and systematically within local communities and organizations.

Persons who work in institutions often function as gatekeepers to ensure that the institution perpetuates itself. By operating with anti-racist values and networking with those who share those values and maintaining accountability in the community, the gatekeeper becomes an agent of institutional transformation.

Identifying and Analyzing Manifestations of Racism
Individual acts of racism are supported by institutions and are nurtured by the societal practices such as militarism and cultural racism, which enforce and perpetuate racism.

Learning from History
History is a tool for effective organizing. Understanding the lessons of history allows us to create a more humane future.

Maintaining Accountability
To organize with integrity requires that we be accountable to the communities struggling with racist oppression.

Sharing Culture
Culture is the life support system of a community. If a community’s culture is respected and nurtured, the community’s power will grow.

Undoing Internalized Racial Oppression
Internalized Racial Oppression manifests itself in two forms:

Internalized Racial Inferiority
The acceptance of and acting out of an inferior definition of self, given by the oppressor, is rooted in the historical designation of one’s race. Over many generations, this process of disempowerment and disenfranchisement expresses itself in self-defeating behaviors.

Internalized Racial Superiority
The acceptance of and acting out of a superior definition is rooted in the historical designation of one’s race. Over many generations, this process of empowerment and access expresses itself as unearned privileges, access to institutional power and invisible advantages based upon race.

Undoing Racism®
Racism is the single most critical barrier to building effective coalitions for social change. Racism has been consciously and systematically erected, and it can be undone only if people understand what it is, where it comes from, how it functions, and why it is perpetuated.

NOBL’s public safety and neighborhood leadership development activities are a City of Grand Rapids Community Development-funded Program. Return to our programs page to evaluate our content for grant reporting.