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Government Procurement from Small Businesses: Advancing Racial Equity and Removing Barriers to Participation

Via procurement, federal, state, and local governments have incredible power of the purse. But public contracts have historically been distributed inequitably, and recent court cases have challenged the ability to target supports based on race or ethnicity.

What is the future of equity-focused procurement programs? And how can we remove barriers to participation in government procurement apart from equity programs? The Urban Institute and the Open Contracting Partnership invite you to a panel discussion with experts in the field to discuss these questions and the findings of a new report, Removing Barriers to Participation in Local and State Government Procurement and Contracting for Entrepreneurs of Color.


  • Jennifer Bradley, Senior Fellow, Kresge Foundation
  • Kathrin Frauscher, Deputy Executive Director, Open Contracting Partnership
  • Neha Gupta, Senior Advisor, Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab
  • Colette Holt, Attorney, Colette Holt & Associates
  • André Lima, Director, Supplier Diversity, Mayor's Office of Economic Opportunity and Inclusion, City of Boston
  • Michael Owh, Chief Deputy Director, Los Angeles County Internal Services Department
  • Dan Symon, former Chief Procurement Officer, City of New York; Managing Partner, Gartner
  • Brett Theodos, Senior Fellow, Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center, Urban Institute


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This event is available for in-person or virtual participation. Please be sure to register correctly. In-person check-in will begin at 12:30 p.m. We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals to engage fully. Please email [email protected] if you require any accommodations or have any questions about this event.

Support for this event was provided by the Kresge Foundation. For more on Urban’s funding policies, go to

Date & Time Thursday, May 2, 2024
500 L'Enfant Plaza SW
Washington , DC , 20024
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Check-in and lunch will begin at 12:30 p.m. EDT

  • Senior Fellow