Community Empowerment Projects

Multicultural Roots

Taking Action to Create a More Equitable Santa Rosa 

While conversations remain ongoing between Santa Rosa City Council, staff, and the community, the City of Santa Rosa has begun taking action by planning and implementing changes and new projects based on feedback received during the Community Empowerment Plan listening sessions. These listening sessions, which began two months ago, have centered around public safety, use of force policies implemented by the Santa Rosa Police Department (SRPD), and relationships between SRPD officers and the community. The following action steps or projects are being led by Community Engagement staff, in collaboration with the various City and community agencies.

The Multicultural Roots Project: Stories from Black, Indigenous, People of Color

The Grays
Platt Williams_Lunch Counter Sit In

The Multicultural Roots Project has two goals:

  1. Create visibility for Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) in Sonoma County, with a particular focus on Santa Rosa; and
  2. Recognize, through historical stories from BIPOC, contributions and impacts that have shaped Santa Rosa and Sonoma County. 

Working with local historians and community organizers, City staff will gather stories and facts about historical events, BIPOC leaders, and places that have shaped Santa Rosa and Sonoma County into what it is today. Staff will also collect information about current BIPOC community leaders and share their stories. 


Ethnic Studies with a Cop Pilot Program

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The City of Santa Rosa’s Community Engagement Office and Santa Rosa Police Department, in collaboration with Santa Rosa Recreation and Parks Distance Learning Camp and Care, launched a new seven-week pilot program called Ethnic Studies with a Cop. The Pilot Program is designed to enhance children’s education by creating visibility and celebration of our communities of color and is one of the outcomes from the City’s Community Empowerment Plan. The Pilot Program also supports the Santa Rosa City Council’s goal of increasing organizational diversity, equity and inclusion.

Each session is co-facilitated by officers from the Police Department and staff from the Community Engagement Office. The cohort consists of 12 students from Meadow View Elementary School, ranging from 3rd through 6th grade.

All students deserve to feel respected, included, safe, and challenged when they are learning. Together we can!!!

Ethnic Studies with a Cop Session Schedule

Session Name Session Materials  Session Date
African American History
Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks
Vocabulary October 20, 2020
Mexican American History
Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta
Vocabulary October 27, 2020
Women's History
Women's Right to Vote
Vocabulary November 3, 2020
Latin American History
Aztec and Mayan Empires
Vocabulary November 10, 2020
Local History 
George Ortiz, Community Organizer
Vocabulary November 17, 2020
Native American History
Northern California Tribes and Elsie Allen
Vocabulary December 1, 2020
Pilot Conclusion
Santa Rosa Violence Prevention Partnership
  December 8, 2020
SR Rec and Parks logo

Santa Rosa Police Chief’s Community Ambassador Team

More information and details to come.

Other Upcoming Projects

Community Engagement staff are also planning several other longer-term projects, including:

  • Lowrider Patrol Car- in partnership with the Sonoma County Lowrider Council and the Santa Rosa Police Department;
    • Check out this example from the City of Stockton! WATCH VIDEO
  • Civic Engagement 101 video series and toolkit - in partnership with the City’s Community Advisory Board.