Ahead of November’s conference we will be sharing sneak peeks of various breakout sessions. Today’s Q&A is with Race Forward’s Julia Sebastian, who will be co-hosting a breakout session on Racial Equity Strategies for Workforce Development.

Background: In 2017 Race Forward produced a racial equity readiness assessment tool for workforce development agencies to clarify how racial bias and inequity is operating within their institutions and provide concrete steps for proactive measures to counter those policies and practices. You can learn more about the tool and accompany report – Race-Explicit Strategies for Workforce Equityhere.

Why did you feel this subject was important for a breakout session?

We wanted to bring real life experiences and practical tools from workforce practitioners to participants so they could practice applying these tools within their own organizations.

Workforce Development is an enormous field that stands to have a lot of impact on employment for people of color, particularly in the fast growing industries of healthcare and IT.

We want to help on-the-ground practitioners center racial equity in their field and make an actual intervention in our segregated employment market.

What can attendees expect to do / learn during this session? 

We will be introducing for the first time a racial equity readiness assessment tool specifically built for the workforce development industry. This tool was created out of three years of research and work with practitioners who have tested this tool in their everyday work.

In the session we will provide training on this very practical assessment tool, and the opportunity to learn from the workforce development practitioners that have put it into practice. We’ll go over lessons learned, pitfalls to avoid, and give the participants an opportunity to reflect on how racial inequity shows up in their own organizations, and how to apply the tool after the conference.

What do you hope folks will leave this session with?

We hope attendees will take away the skills and tools they need to advance racial equity at their workforce development organizations. Come and learn from the people that are doing this work, and bring your own stories and knowledge so we can continue to learn from one another.

You can find the full Facing Race program schedule here

Topics: Community and Economic Development, Governing for Racial Equity, Innovations in Racial Justice, Racial Equity Tools