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#2020APPAM Theme Series: What about Racial Equity?


The 2020 Virtual Fall Research Conference will be held online from November 11th to the 13th, under the theme Research Across the Policy Lifecycle: Formulation, Implementation, Evaluation and Back Again. We've tried to give you a brief explanation on the website, but context is more important than ever, so we're kicking off this series where leaders from the conference and APPAM will each tackle an aspect of how the theme connects to our reality. 

Today, Dr. Andrea Headley, Assistant Professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy Georgetown University and #2020APPAM Program Committee member talks about the connection to Racial Equity. 

In 2020 specifically, the killings of Black Americans (such as George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor) brought deep-rooted concerns of racism, equity and justice to the forefront of national attention and debate. When coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, the conversation around racial equity has persisted in other realms with regard to disparities in health, well-being, educational access, and economic stability. Arguably, it has been the implementation of policies and the performance of practices that have resulted in such disparities, calling into question the importance of racial equity for public policy broadly. This year’s APPAM conference focuses on the significance of policy implementation for realizing a policy’s intended effects but also as a feedback loop for policy design. In light of this theme, APPAM 2020 will feature a variety of session topics focusing on race with regard to the various stages of the policy process and in policy areas such as criminal justice, education, housing, health, social welfare as well as economic affairs. Further, attendees will be challenged to think about the ways in which other sociodemographic and neighborhood characteristics intersect with race to effect outcomes and processes. In exploring the challenges and promises of policy implementation, we must continue to ask if and how this impacts racial equity as we move toward policy interventions and solutions for a more a fair, equitable society.

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