Stepping Up to Advance Racial Equity: One Step, One Policy Approach

Past Event
May 24, 2023, 2:00- 3:30pm , Eastern

Hosted by The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center and the U.S Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) 

Individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC) are overrepresented in the criminal justice system, and people with serious mental illness (SMI) who identify as BIPOC hold a “dual disproportionality” and experience heightened disparities. The social unrest following the murder of George Floyd was a catalyst for growing nationwide interest in prioritizing and addressing racial equity. Many counties are starting to tackle these issues, while others are demonstrating progress in addressing the pervasive inequities in the justice system that have accrued and persisted for hundreds of years.  

We know from eight years of Stepping Up experience that counties that implement the Stepping Up framework are well positioned to work toward racial equity in their local behavioral health and criminal justice systems. This webinar accompanies the release of the brief “Applying the Stepping Up Framework to Advance Racial Equity” and provides more background, guiding research, and information on process adaptation for counties to build policies, programs, and practices that increase racial equity and break down structural racism inherent in the justice system. This virtual discussion will guide counties on how to include diverse representation and the voices of lived experience; apply data analysis; objectively review policies, programs, and practices that increase the probability of human bias; and act using a “one step; one policy” approach.  


  • Maria Fryer, Policy Advisor, Criminal Justice and Mental Health, Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice 
  • Orleny Rojas, Senior Manager, Center for Effective Public Policy  
  • Felicia Lopez Wright, Project Manager, Behavioral Health, CSG Justice Center  
  • Kate Reed, Project Manager, Behavioral Health, CSG Justice Center  
  • Risë Haneberg, Deputy Division Director, Behavioral Health, CSG Justice Center 


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