Through an award from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Leadership Montgomery commissioned Abt Associates to evaluate the Racial Equity Action Leadership (REAL) Inclusion program. Leadership Montgomery’s REAL Inclusion empowers individuals and/or teams from an institution to eliminate systemic racism by training them to apply a racial equity lens to organizational change efforts. This work builds on a new partnership: Abt recently conducted two REAL Inclusion sessions in the Washington, D.C.-area, where we and Leadership Montgomery are based.
Organizations with well-developed inclusion programs tend to have increased engagement and team efficiency. Embedding racial equity training shows better overall organizational outcomes. “Research shows over and over again that racial equity leads to higher rates of employee satisfaction, retention, and innovation, all of which lead to greater success for organizations,” explained Abt’s project director, Dr. Karen Gray-Adams. “Further study of the REAL Inclusion program can help us identify best practices and, if it’s effective in the D.C. metro area, then it can be replicated in other communities.”
Over the course of nine monthly sessions, REAL Inclusion helps participants learn to:
- Build relationships and empathy across race, culture, and power imbalances
- Have productive conversations around race and how it impacts an organization’s goals
- Use frameworks to identify and examine barriers to racial equity within the organization
- Develop a racial equity action plan or strategic plan
- Identify methods to evaluate success.
Participants then return to their organizations, where they can share these learnings and implement their racial equity strategic plans.
Abt will produce a mixed-methods study that includes case studies, interviews, and surveys from the participants of the first few cohorts of REAL Inclusion, with results expected in the next 12 to 18 months.
Learn More: Hear Dr. Gray-Adams discuss Abt’s initial implementation sessions here.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal innovator and entrepreneur Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.
The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special attention is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.
Leadership Montgomery (LM) is an award-winning organization that supports public, private, and nonprofit leaders in Montgomery County, MD, and beyond. Connecting the community for over thirty years, LM is committed to unlocking the potential of cross-sector leaders in understanding and addressing complex issues in our region. Through curriculum-based leadership programs, meaningful alumni engagement, and impactful corporate activation, LM mobilizes leaders to build thriving and inclusive workplaces and communities.
About Abt Associates
Abt Associates is a global consulting and research firm that combines data and bold thinking to improve the quality of people's lives. We partner with clients and communities to advance equity and innovation—from creating scalable digital solutions and combatting infectious disease, to mitigating climate change and evaluating programs for measurable social impact. https://www.abtassociates.com