May 02, 2011

RCLA Releases Guide to Leadership Programs that Support People of Color & Diversity

"Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in Public Service: A Review of Leadership Development Programs in the US" By Sonia Ospina, Waad El Hadidy and Grisel Caicedo with Amanda Jones, April 2011

One in three Americans are people of color, yet minorities occupy just one in six leadership positions in state and federal government, nonprofits and foundations.  A new RCLA report offers a listing of leadership development programs at the regional and national levels that are dedicated to supporting leaders of color, committed to diversity and open to all public service leaders, or that focus on diversity management.

Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in Public Service: A Review of Leadership Development Programs in the US is part of RCLA's efforts to build a diverse pool of public service leaders. It was released in partnership with the National Urban Fellows in conjunction with the launch of National Urban Fellows' Public Service Leadership Diversity Initiative, a nationwide campaign to move leaders of color from positions of influence to positions of power in public service.

The review provides listings and contact information for programs at the national and regional levels, including:

1) Leadership development programs for public service leaders of color;
2) Leadership development programs committed to diversity and open to all public service leaders;
3) Leadership development programs for diversity management; and
4) Funding support for leadership development programs advancing diversity in public service.

The scan of leadership development programs also provides findings from RCLA scholars and experts in the field about the various programs committed to leadership and diversity. They find that while these programs tend to be small in scale, there are large expectations for the impact they will be able to achieve. They also find that despite a funding environment that increasingly values performance management, many programs have not been able to engage in rigorous assessments. Finally, while many programs are thoughtfully designed to meet specific niches, systemic approaches are increasingly necessary to achieve large-scale impacts in leadership diversity.

The report serves as a reference guide for individuals and organizations seeking leadership programs to support leaders of color in their public service work and all leaders working to advance diversity. It was released in conjunction with Leadership, Diversity and Inclusion: Insights from Scholarship, in which RCLA scholars examine the latest literature on leadership and diversity, with a focus on public service.

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