Case Study: Going Beyond Title VI Compliance with PlanRVA
Following direction from the Virginia DOT, PlanRVA and the Richmond Regional Transportation Planning Organization (RRTPO) were required to update their Title VI plan. But PlanRVA wanted to take it a step beyond simple compliance and ensure it aligned with internal commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Avid Core, along with our partner at ONE EIGHTY, was brought in to update the Title VI Plan and to develop specific procedures within PlanRVA to operationalize their Title VI commitments.
We tackled this work in two phases. In Phase One, Avid Core developed and designed the latest update of the Title VI Plan. We conducted a gap analysis and highlighted areas where the plan could go beyond legal requirements to increase accessibility and foster inclusion.
In Phase Two, we helped PlanRVA put the values and commitments outlined in the Title VI Plan into practice. We conducted an assessment, talking to a diverse group of community members to understand the challenges faced in selling to government agencies, getting hired, and in attending public meetings. We led a workshop with PlanRVA staff to learn how they wanted to see diversity, equity, and inclusion fostered through their work.
These conversations, coupled with research and best practices, led to the creation of the agency’s first Inclusive Purchasing Program, Inclusive Recruitment Program, and Equitable Public Meeting Playbook. All products were tailored specifically to the demographic make-up of the Richmond Region and their unique needs.
The final Title VI Plan included Spanish translation and icons for Limited English Proficiency populations. The digital version was designed for Section 508 compliance and offered a mobile-friendly Title VI complaint form. The new plan was formally commended during RRTPO’s federal review.
Avid Core’s also work helped PlanRVA lead the way among their planning district peers. PlanRVA has a purchasing power of nearly $2 million annually and the new purchasing program ensures that most of those dollars are spent with local businesses and businesses owned by members of historically marginalized populations.
The new recruitment program had an immediate impact on four new positions recently created by the agency and the public meeting playbook will help make PlanRVA’s meetings more accessible to the more than one million people that call the Richmond Region home.