On May 9, 2022, The GCRTA became one of 82 members to join APTA’s two-year Racial Equity Commitment Pilot Program. The program is designed to meet members where they are, whether they already have a comprehensive diversity, equity, and inclusion program in place with a clear focus on racial equity or are just taking their first steps toward that goal.
“Improving diversity, equity and inclusion at an organizational level is a priority of the GCRTA,” said, GCRTA General Manager and Chief Executive Officer India Birdsong. “This new program will establish standardized metrics, identify essential resources, and determine how to structure recognition levels to measure and reward progress in advancing racial equity,” added Birdsong.
Benefits to participating in the Commitment Pilot Program include:
- Direct contribution to the body of knowledge on advancing racial equity in the transit industry.
- Networking, and peer-to-peer learning with other APTA members.
- Increase positive morale among employees.
- Enhanced public relations with external stakeholder groups and recognition of progress made.
“I greatly appreciate APTA for their leadership on this effort and the GCRTA for joining,” said Valarie McCall, GCRTA Board Trustee and APTA Past Chair. “The program provides a tangible roadmap for advancing racial equity as part of a comprehensive diversity, equity, and inclusion framework, beyond legal compliance and with a view to continuous improvement. It’s a program of significant importance for all Transit Boards to actively join,” added McCall.
Pilot program signatories will be considered founding members of the commitment program.
Success of this pilot program will be measured by member engagement, effectiveness of peer learning mechanisms and educational resources provided to document tangible racial equity outcomes.