This report provides valuable insights into the discriminatory roots of labor and workforce policies, and starts a conversation with workforce leaders, community organizations and philanthropy about the narrative and system changes we need to realize a Bay Area recovery that benefits all workers.
This timeline captures, by race/ethnicity, over 200 years of “steps” (policies providing or facilitating economic opportunities) and “stops” (policies excluding groups from economic opportunities). Insight created these deliverables to help stakeholders forge a shared history, complete with hard truths such as structural racism and the discriminatory policies enabling it, in order to move forward with a racial equity framework and acknowledge the lasting impact of – and the constant need to challenge – structural racism and gender inequity.
“As we brace for uncertainty and loss, applying a racial and gender equity frame to the Bay Area workforce development system can challenge us to learn from a shared past, liberating us to envision a workforce where all are seen and valued for their full, and truly essential, worth.” – Aisa Villarosa, Insight Center for Community Economic Development
The following landscape provides an overview of the Bay Area’s workforce development system, including the North Bay, South Bay, and East Bay. Historic policies and practices and their impact on women, immigrants, and people of color in the region are also highlighted.
On October 9, 2020, ReWork The Bay and the Insight Center hosted a dialogue to re-imagine a workforce system where women, people of color, immigrants and refugees have full access to the opportunities, rights, and protections needed to overcome economic fallout and systemic threats to health and safety. Drawing from the themes of our report on the Bay Area workforce’s racial and gender inequities, a panel of experts lifted up the experiences of people grappling with work, unemployment, and injustice during COVID-19. We explored how public officials, advocates, organizers, service providers, and a multitude of stakeholders within the workforce system at large can come together, offering recommendations for bold change to our local, regional, and statewide systems and the economy.
Ken Oliver, Director of Business Development, CROP Organization
Kris Stadelman, Director, NOVA Workforce Development
Clair Minson, Founder and Principal Consultant, Sandra Grace, LLC
Moderator: Aisa Villarosa, Insight Center