On Tuesday, Oct. 3, the Board of Supervisors appointed two Co-Directors to lead the new Office of Racial Equity and Social Justice (ORESJ).
Kendra Carr was selected as Co-Director, Race Equity and Inter-Agency Engagement and will focus on assessing, supporting, and coordinating racial equity work within and across county agencies and departments. Peter Kim was selected as Co-Director, Race Equity and Community Empowerment and will focus on assessing, supporting, and coordinating racial equity work in the community.
“We must center the priorities and lived experiences of our residents and families who are most vulnerable to systems’ harms and inequities,” said Board Chair John Gioia, District 1 Supervisor. “This is how we will reduce racial disparities and improve outcomes for all.”
Contra Costa County is the first jurisdiction to develop and launch an office of racial equity and social justice through a community engagement process. In 2020, the Board of Supervisors authorized the development of the ORESJ to enact and sustain principles, policies, practices, and investments that are racially just and socially equitable across all departments and divisions.
“The work of this office is crucial for us as a county to focus on healing, justice, equity, and accountability through our service to the community,” said Vice Chair Federal Glover, District 5 Supervisor. “We must rise to the challenge and meet people where they are with the expectation that we will move at a righteous, reparative pace. The ORESJ will embody these principles, commitments, and values in their work.”
Carr holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and ethnic studies from Santa Clara University, a master’s degree in education, equity, and social justice, and a doctoral degree in educational leadership. Her experience includes Chief Program Officer, Senior Director of Research with Girls Leadership and Principal with Holy Names High School.
“I am excited about the opportunity to co-lead the new Office of Racial Equity and Social Justice and ensure that all community members have equitable access to and thrive as a result of engaging with the programs and services offered by county agencies,” Carr said.
Kim holds multiple ethnic studies degrees from the University of California Berkeley including a bachelor’s and a master’s and is currently pursuing a Doctoral degree.
“I’m honored to have been appointed as a Co-Director and humbled by the importance of what this office is tasked to do,” Kim said. “I’m ready to hit the ground running with Dr. Carr and build off the incredible work of all the community members, county staff and stakeholders who worked tirelessly these past two years to establish the ORESJ.”
His experience includes the roles of Program Coordinator at Responsibility, Integrity, Strength, Empower (R.I.S.E.) and Managing Director at East Bay Asian Youth Center in East Oakland. Kim also worked for the City of Oakland as a Division Manager in the Department of Human Resources, and Department Manager/Interim Director with the Department of Violence Prevention. His most recent work has been with the Bright Research Group as a Senior Consultant.