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City of Lansing launches the diversity dashboard

Posted at 6:42 PM, Jan 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-10 18:42:23-05

LANSING, Mich. — Last week, Lansing Mayor Andy Schor announced the launch of the Equity Matrix, an online dashboard that tracks diversity in the city. The hope is to reduce racial disparities.

“Lansing isn’t alone in the fight for equity and there’s so much more we can learn from other cities about what’s worked and what hasn’t to ensure, we do this correctly for our residents,” Schor said.

Schor and his Racial, Justice and Equity Alliance said they’re hitting the ground running this year.

Already the team has launched an online dashboard called Equity Matrix to keep track a close eye on diversity in city neighborhoods along with a workforce diversity dashboard that track the racial and ethnic makeup of the city's workforce.

“We want this tool to center disparities and center them in a way to where we can close those those disparities in our community,” said Guadalupe Ayala the city’s chief diversity officer.

The online tools are public for everyone to view and break down race percentages among city employees and residents. They also takes a look at residents’ income, languages and education. The data is collected by residents and employees who volunteer to submit their information, and also from the U.S. Census.

“There’s accountability in this,” said Andrea King Collier, a member of the Racial, Diversity and Equity Alliance. “If the numbers go up, it means one thing; if the numbers go down, it means another thing; and, if the numbers stay the same, it means something else. It’s a measuring stick, and it helps building a relationship between the community and city officials.”

“I feel like it’s a band aid to cover up the wounds of citizens of Lansing ABOUT issues we’ve been speaking about in my whole ten years of living in the Lansing area,” said community activist Karrington Kelsey.

Kelsey is skeptical about the equity matrix. He said as an activist and as a city resident he’s lost trust in Schor and his administration. Kelsey said it’s hard for him to believe that the launch of the dashboard is coming from a genuine place.

“I just don’t trust Schor or his administration,” he said.

Click here to view the Equity Matrix.