Achieving the Dream and USC Race and Equity Center Announce Launch of The Racial Equity Leadership Academy

The Kresge Foundation will support teams from ten ATD Network community colleges to participate in an intensive three-day institute in Los Angeles this summer

Silver Spring, Maryland, UNITED STATES

Silver Spring, MD, Feb. 18, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Achieving the Dream and the USC Race and Equity Center are pleased to announce a new opportunity for colleges in the Achieving the Dream Network to participate in an intensive equity focused institute in Los Angeles, CA, in 2020. Teams of four individuals from ten colleges in the ATD Network will participate in the Achieving the Dream and USC Race and Equity Center  Racial Equity Leadership Academy, a three -day program designed for teams to work together to develop a strategic racial equity change effort that will be launched at their institution during the Fall 2020 semester. The Kresge Foundation is providing support for eight content modules to be developed and delivered by ATD and USC Race and Equity Center staff and coaches. Academy content will be based on Achieving the Dream’s Institutional Capacity Framework and tailored to community college’s working to overcome equity-focused challenges.

“We are pleased to partner with the University of Southern California Race and Equity Center to offer this important opportunity for our colleges to center equity, specifically racial equity, in their institutional reform work,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, Achieving the Dream president and CEO. “The Kresge Foundation’s investment in this partnership will help the selected ATD colleges move into action to achieve their racial equity goals and help build ATD’s capacity to bring racial equity action planning to all our network colleges.”

This inaugural academy will bring 40 total participants to Los Angeles for three days in July 2020. Achieving the Dream will lead the selection of the ten colleges, all of whom must be active in the ATD Network.  Each participating campus team will be composed of the president or chancellor, a highly respected faculty member, a cabinet-level student affairs officer/diversity officer, and a senior academic leader (e.g. provost, vice provost).  For nine months following the summer experience, coaches will virtually convene each individual team to check in on the progress of their change effort to help solve problems the teams have encountered and to facilitate learning across the teams they are each supporting, focusing on their date and intended outcomes. To provide support for institution-wide change, presidents will also form a special virtual affinity group, with peer exchange facilitated by ATD over this same timeframe.

“With tremendous excitement and optimism, our center and ATD developed this substantive, multidimensional strategy to improve racial equity at community colleges,” said Dr. Shaun Harper, professor and executive director of the USC Race and Equity Center. “I am confident that numerous instructive and inspiring models of excellence will emerge from our collaboration.”

Strategic racial equity change efforts  may range from closing gaps in transfer rates to diversifying the faculty to better reflect the racial composition of the student body, addressing campus racial climate problems, increasing the skill of part-time and adjunct instructors to teach in culturally responsive ways, and creating ethnically diverse pipelines to senior-level administrative leadership, to name a few. Each college will identify an opportunity area in which to create its racial equity change effort,  which will be officially launched on each campus shortly after the summer experience.

Teams will come together again at ATD’s annual convening, DREAM, in Orlando, FL, in February 2021, to share their achievements and to disseminate lessons learned.

Achieving the Dream colleges in good standing will be invited to apply to participate in the Institute through a rigorous application process. The application submission deadline is March 18, 2020. Selected colleges will be notified March 27, 2020.





Achieving the Dream (ATD) leads a growing network of 277 community colleges committed to helping their students, particularly low-income students and students of color, achieve their goals for academic success, personal growth, and economic opportunity. ATD is making progress in closing academic achievement gaps and accelerating student success through a unique change process that builds each college’s institutional capacities in seven essential areas. ATD, along with 75 experienced coaches and advisors, works closely with Network colleges in 44 states and the District of Columbia. 



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