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Municipal leaders get “REAL” about racial equity

Leon T. Andrews, NLC’s REAL Director, leads a REAL 101 workshop on March 14 with support from Former Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges at the Hazel Crest Municipal Center


Some 150 municipal leaders from around the Metropolitan Chicago area participated in Race, Equity and Leadership (REAL) 101, facilitated by experts from the National League of Cities (NLC). It was the first in a two-part training series that acquaints elected officials and municipal staff with ways that local policy and procedures can contribute to racial inequity and provide tools to change them. The daylong workshop was held March 14 at the Hazel Crest Municipal Center and hosted by the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association, Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, National League of Cities, Metropolitan Planning Council and Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. Leon T. Andrews, NLC’s REAL Director, led the event with support from Former Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges. Hazel Crest Mayor Vernard L. Alsberry Jr. and Park Forest Mayor John Ostenburg also led a panel discussion on equity and economic development.

This event was made possible by grants from the Field Foundation and Chicago Community Trust and sponsorship from ComEd.

The National League of CitiesRace, Equity, And Leadership (REAL) initiative serves to strengthen local leaders’ knowledge and capacity to eliminate racial disparities, heal racial divisions, and build more equitable communities. Advancing racial equity in local government increases the prosperity, health, and safety of the entire community.

REAL 201, which will be held on April 24, will provide tools to reform policy and procedures for better outcomes. Click here for more details.

REAL 101 photos and videos can be found here.

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