Equitable Community Engagement is the process of encouraging project/program involvement with community members that prioritizes, highlights, and amplifies the voices of the underrepresented and disproportionately impacted, equips and resources their efforts, and supports their capacity to advocate for themselves in decision-making processes to ensure the participation, contribution, and safety of all those impacted through the utilization of City resources.


Black Gentleman at Microphone speaking to a room full of individuals at tables at Hayti Heritage Center.

Download key documents:

Equitable Community Engagement Blueprint (full draft document) &

Planning Questions (short document for planning engagement)


On August 6, 2018, City Council directed staff to “create an engagement plan that will allow the City to create a racial equity plan regarding the Belt Line.” This request was made in response to resident concerns about the equity of the engagement previously conducted for the Durham Belt Line Trail Master Plan. To guide this engagement plan and other future engagement efforts, the City’s Community Engagement Team began the development of this Equitable Community Engagement Blueprint.

During the 90-day period following the City Council directive, the Community Engagement Team met with community members and City staff to develop this Blueprint.  The process outlined in this document was refined and applied to create the Durham Belt Line Trail Equitable Engagement Plan. Portions of the Blueprint also informed the community engagement for the disposition of surplus property located at 103 S. Driver St.

The City consults with thousands of community members each year to gather feedback on multiple initiatives and projects. These efforts have informed and guided the development of numerous City initiatives, policies, and codes. It is essential that, as a community, the City can build on existing trust and address inequities at all levels. This Blueprint will expand on existing successes, and provide consistent, meaningful and equitable engagement opportunities.


Bimonthly Engagement Reports