Brief Building Public Data Capacity and Partnerships for Racial Equity in Oakland
Sara McTarnaghan
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Urban Strategies Council, a regional research and advocacy organization in Oakland, California, works alongside its local governments to advance racial equity by coordinating cross-sector action coalitions, offering technical assistance on using data in planning and operations, and providing fresh analysis in key areas such as health, education, and criminal justice. As one example, the Council supports the Oakland–Alameda County Alliance for Boys and Men of Color through research on key outcomes, convening workgroups, and tracking progress to hold partners accountable. They also coached administrators and teachers in the Oakland Unified School District on reducing chronic absenteeism and to institute regular reporting of indicators by race and gender to identify both individual student and systemic issues.

Urban Strategies Council has proven an effective partner to local government by providing data analysis, increasing data capacity, convening public and civic stakeholders for collective action on entrenched challenges, and identifying emerging and high-priority issues through advocacy with community partners. As an independent organization with strategic and analytical capacity, the Council can facilitate and inform conversation around the toughest governance and equity issues Oakland faces.

This case study is one of a series, including an overview brief, that demonstrate how local governments benefit from engaging with data intermediaries like Urban Strategies Council and other organizations in the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership. To read the full series, visit

Research Areas Neighborhoods, cities, and metros Race and equity
Tags Racial and ethnic disparities Community and economic development Racial inequities in neighborhoods and community development National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP)
Policy Centers Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center
Cities San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA