Leading for Racial Equity Certificate: Intensive Exploration and Practical Application


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To earn this certificate, participants must attend all three days. The classes are offered in a highly participatory live-online format.

Whether you already serve in a leadership role or aspire to, you have an opportunity to transform your team and organization by making the commitment to racial equity. This intensive on leading for racial equity will equip learners with the knowledge base, tools, and strategies key to yielding meaningful outcomes.

Learners take a deep dive into what it means to be a racially equitable organization, evaluate their own organization’s readiness and strategize on the steps needed to embark on the path of anti-racism. Moreover, learners develop a comprehensive awareness of racial equity decision tools and how to utilize them to produce equitable budget allocation, program implementation and policy determination.

In addition to the engaging and highly participatory full- and small-group live online training structure, learners have the opportunity to apply an equity-focused analysis to their own ongoing work projects. This approach empowers learners to see and assess the real-world potential for actualizing efforts toward equity.


In both Wisconsin and across the nation, organizations are grappling with their values and culture around issues of inclusivity while striving to attract and retain racially diverse talent. Achieving workforce justice goes beyond mere policy adjustments; it means the deliberate interruption of microaggressions, ensuring linguistic inclusivity, fostering a universally welcoming environment for all personnel, and equipping staff to champion justice, equity, and inclusion within their program domains.

In this comprehensive course, participants will shift from ideological commitment to practical action as leaders for racial equity. This transformative program is tailored for individuals possessing a foundational grasp of racial equity. If you are primed to effect meaningful change across your organization's programs, practices, policies, and decision-making processes, this course is your catalyst for aligning the values of workforce justice and racial equity.

Day 1 learning outcomes

During Day 1, learners discuss the pivotal attributes of an anti-racist organization and analyze the strengths and growth opportunities within their respective organizations. By the end of the day, learners are able to outline pragmatic next steps for advancing their organizations toward racial equity.

  • Discuss the key features of an anti-racist organization
  • Assess the strengths and areas of growth for your organization and its readiness to become anti-racist
  • Plan the next steps to move your organization toward anti-racism

Day 2 learning outcomes

Day 2 delves into racial equity decision tools and how they can be used to weave equity-driven strategies into budget allocations, program execution, and policy determinations. Through hands-on exercises, participants apply an equity-focused analysis to an ongoing project and gain insight into how the project can impact racial equity in their organization. At the end of Day 2, learners will connect with an accountability partner with whom they’ll develop an action plan for the intervening month.

  • Identify how racial equity policy tools could help your organization build a budget, program and policies aligned with organizational racial equity values
  • Apply concepts of equity policy tools to a current project and identify strengths and areas of growth
  • Create an action plan and accountability partner

Day 3 learning outcomes

On Day 3, learners explore the concept of Whiteness within the workplace and instances of racist organizational detours that hinder progress. Equipped with tools to dismantle institutional barriers, learners chart out strategies to increase recruitment and hiring of racially diverse staff within the context of affirmative action uncertainty. Finally, learners design proactive steps to augment staff capacity, ensuring an elevated commitment to the cause of anti-racism.

  • Identify and analyze how Whiteness shows up in my organization and identify strategies to respond to racialized aggressions in my organization.
  • Design steps to build capacity with current staff to elevate their commitment to anti-racism

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Overview: Extra Information

Your facilitators

ananda mirilli (MS, UW–Madison) is the executive director of nINA Collective, an enterprise dedicated to supporting organizations, institutions and individuals as they advance their change process and racial equity initiatives. A native of Brazil, ananda has a long history of working with communities in the U.S. and abroad and is the grant director to address racial disproportionality in special education for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

At age 14 she engaged in social justice movements advocating for children with multiple abilities, seniors experiencing poverty and youth experiencing homelessness. After moving to the U.S. ananda became an educator and found her passion for facilitating learning spaces for individuals, groups and organizations engaging in transformative work. ananda's commitment to racial and gender justice led her to develop new frames for youth and women's leadership. As a skilled facilitator, ananda has engaged with thousands of youth, women and diverse professionals, building coalition and solidarity. ananda holds a master's degree in education leadership and policy analysis from UW–Madison and a bachelor's degree in human services and psychology.

Courtney Reed Jenkins (JD, University of Iowa) is co-leader of the Disproportionality Technical Assistance Network and has spent two decades working in nonprofits and government eliminating institutional barriers to success for underserved students. She has conducted federal and state civil rights investigations for the State of Wisconsin; managed equity-focused systems-change initiatives in Colorado, Idaho, Iowa and Wisconsin; and serves on the management team for the Wisconsin Department of Instruction.

Dr. Marian Wright-Edelman said, "Service is the rent we pay for being." Courtney Reed has "paid her rent" through two decades of work in the nonprofit and government sectors — always with a clear focus on eliminating institutional barriers to success for underserved students. She started her career in education as a paraprofessional in a segregated school for students with disabilities, which literally paid for — and informed the focus of — her legal training. She has also served on the senior management team and as board president of the education foundation for a national civil rights organization. Courtney focuses on justice in education in honor of her mother, who grew up white in the segregated south, and her daughters, to whom she wants to leave a fairer world.

Earn Continuing Education Hours

By participating in this class you will earn:

Instructional Hours 18
University of Wisconsin Continuing Education Units 1.8

Explanation of Continuing Education Hours

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Program Questions?

Contact Brittany Browning at brittany.browning@wisc.edu or 608-265-7939

Registration Questions?

Email registrations@pyle.wisc.edu or call 608-262-2451.

Continuing Studies FAQs

What Attendees Are Saying

"I am grateful for the opportunity to engage with others to reflect and focus on how I can be more active in building an anti-racist and inclusive environment. I really appreciated both the instructors’ expertise and their level of engagement using different teaching tools to facilitate important discussions to deepen our learning."
– Elizabeth Petty, University of Wisconsin - Madison, School of Medicine and Public Health
"The instructors, hands down were fantastic. I felt very empowered and they did a great job of leading, explaining and seeing their passion come through made the information even more relevant and impactful. You can tell they care and are very passionate about the information they are teaching."
"On a technical/practical level, I appreciated the practice working on position description components. More generally I appreciated the focus on this as a practice that is multifaceted and ongoing."
"I thought the class was brilliantly planned! Great mix of presenting ideas, small group discussion, individual research, etc. Also VERY much appreciated the concrete strategies pointed out related to equity principles. THANK YOU!"
"I really value a place to talk about race and how to be more antiracist. The more I read the more I realize how much is already described on this subject and how much more I have to learn. Conversations/interactions with others are so valuable in seeing those concepts in action and learning other perspectives. I also really appreciate the structure of the class and the distinction of it being a 'supportive space' instead of the hallowed 'safe space'."
"The instructors were very patient and willing to share their personal stories. They were good at giving feedback and the purpose for activities."