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City of Lansing launches new racial equity tool

Courtesy / City of Lansing
This map indicates "redlined" neighborhoods in Lansing, where residents have historically been denied loans because of their race and where they live.

The city of Lansing is introducing a new online tool to monitor its diversity, equity and inclusion goals.

The Diversity and Equity Dashboard is a new feature on Lansing’s official website.

The site tracks residents’ race, income, language, education, and historically redlined neighborhoods in the city.

Redlining is the discriminatory and often racially motivated practice of refusing loans to people who live in certain neighborhoods.

City consultant Andrea King Collier says the dashboard promotes accountability.

“If the numbers go up, it means one thing, if the numbers go down, it means another thing,” said King Collier. “It’s a measuring stick for the covenant and the partnerships between the city and the community.”

Mayor Andy Schor says the city has already used redlining data to bolster resources in places like the Comstock Park neighborhood.

“We’re working with them to serve that specific area for better outcomes,” Schor said. “We have specifically done that utilizing some of this data with redlining, and we’ll continue to do that in other areas that have need.”

Lansing officials say the data will also be used to ensure the city is recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce.

Voluntarily collected data lists the number of city employees, their years of service and their race.

Kevin Lavery has been news director at WKAR since September 2006.