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How has the REAL program played a role in shaping racial equity mindsets?

Evaluating Leadership Montgomery’s Racial Equity Action Leadership (REAL) Program

Challenge

The purpose of the Leadership Montgomery’s Racial Equity Action Leadership (REAL) Program is to help participants gain the necessary awareness and skills to return to their organizations to implement practices that lead to racially equitable outcomes in their organizations.

Westat conducted a study of the program to see how it helps develop the necessary awareness, skills, and structures to identify and implement practices that lead to organizational changes that drive racially equitable outcomes.

Solution

Westat designed and implemented a strategic study of the REAL program with the goal of sharing overarching outcomes of Year 1 for the program, including identifying key takeaways.

The study was framed using critical race theory as it places a problem in social, political, and historical contexts while considering issues of privilege, racism, and other forms of oppression.

The study team drew on both quantitative and qualitative methods, which included surveys and participant narratives, and embedded a participant observer for the entirety of the course. Also, the team conducted focus groups with individuals from one organization as case study participants.

Results

Participants felt the program provided an invaluable learning experience that helped shape their racial equity mindsets. They were eager to obtain skills to improve racial equity within their organizations and found it important to feel grounded in order to initiate racial equity organizational change. They felt organizations need to commit to effectively making racial equity change over time to ensure sustainability.

Learn more: A Preliminary Study of Leadership Montgomery’s Racial Equity Action Leadership Program (PDF)

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