Equity Foundations: USDN Capacity Building Program

In September 2015, the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN), in partnership with the Government Alliance on Race and Equity and the Center for Social Inclusion, launched a professional development program for sustainability directors and their staff for advancing racial equity into sustainability planning and development. The program became available online and includes a holistic curriculum of five webinars, videos and worksheets to support local government staff in applying an equity lens to sustainability projects. A facilitator’s guide is designed for equity advocates to lead workshops using the related videos and worksheets.

This program centers around five key topics which are covered in five video Modules:

  1. The Opportunity for Government to Advance Racial Equity: Seattle, a Case Study
  2. Communicating about Equity: Narratives, Framing, and Messaging
  3. Building Shared Understanding of Equity: Key Terminology
  4. Using an Equity Lens in Your Work: Implementing Racial Equity Tools
  5. Leading Organizational Change Efforts to Advance Equitable Outcomes: Building Racial Equity Teams

For each video, the facilitator’s guide provides pre-reading assignments that will prepare participants for a discussion about the topic, and a two-hour agenda that includes time for the video and exercises.

The curriculum is designed for advancing racial equity in organizations based on the following:

  • People within the organization must normalize racial equity as a key value and have clear understanding and shared definitions.
  • They must operationalize equity via new policies and by transforming the underlying culture of the organization.
  • And finally, they must organize both internally and in partnership with other institutions and the community.

Publication Date: 2016

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