Sustaining LA County’s Transformation into an Actively Anti-Racist Institution

January 15, 2022

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FUSE Corps

The Los Angeles County Chief Executive Office (CEO) first partnered with FUSE Corps to support the building out a strategic plan for the County’s Anti-Racism, Diversity, and Equity Initiative, guiding, governing, and driving the County’s commitment to fighting systemic racism, working proactively to change policies and practices over which the County has control. LA County will now partner with FUSE to lead a training and education initiative across the County, supporting the adoption of and capacity building for this work.

This fellowship project begins on April 25, 2022, and ends on April 24, 2023. The fellowship begins with a multi-day virtual orientation the week of April 25, 2022. The selected Executive Fellow will begin their first day of providing services to the host agency on May 2, 2022.

PROJECT CONTEXT

The recent pandemic has been a catalyst for recognizing the social illnesses of anti-Black racism; sharp racial gaps in wealth, employment, and digital access; unaffordable housing; and homelessness; that have long plagued the County. The acute impact of the crisis on communities of color, particularly Black and Latinx residents, is a feature of the same forces of systemic racism that have marginalized these communities for decades. As a result, the government of Los Angeles County is not just dedicated to an equitable recovery from COVID-19, but a transformation of the system entirely.

Los Angeles County believes that it must center racial equity, align systems and hold them accountable for more effective delivery, and stir a new civic conversation and commitment for change, in order to build a new Los Angeles where everyone can thrive. In June 2020, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors declared racism as a public health emergency, recognizing that racism particularly against Black County residents has resulted in disparities across all aspects of public life. Furthermore, the Board of Supervisors has directed that the County move beyond just diversity and inclusion measures, identifying and confronting explicit institutional racism. With this in mind, the Board of Supervisors adopted a motion to establish an Anti-Racism, Diversity, and Equity Initiative to guide, govern, and drive the County’s commitment to fighting systemic racism, working proactively to change policies and practices over which the County has control. 

The Los Angeles County Chief Executive Office (CEO) first partnered with FUSE Corps to host an Executive Fellow for one year who supported the Executive Director to build out a comprehensive strategic plan for the initiative. Building from that initial work, the CEO will now partner with FUSE Corps again to host a fellow to lead a training and education initiative across the County, leading the adoption of and capacity building for this work. The Executive Fellow will drive a change in culture and climate across the County that builds a movement towards racial equity in County departments and across their programs.

PROJECT SUMMARY & POTENTIAL DELIVERABLES

The following provides a general overview of the proposed fellowship project. This summary and the potential deliverables will be collaboratively revisited by the host agency, the executive fellow, and FUSE staff during the first few months of the fellowship, after which a revised scope of work may be developed and agreed upon by the FUSE fellow and the host agency

Starting in April 2022, the FUSE Executive Fellow, in close consultation with the Executive Director, Racial Equity – Anti-Racism, Diversity, and Equity Initiative, will work with internal and external stakeholders to build a movement that creates positive change in the culture and climate around diversity, equity and inclusion in LA County. The Executive Fellow will lead the socialization of DEI work by designing and implementing the education, training, monitoring and evaluation strategy. This will also include developing metrics, establish baselines and setting benchmarks for progress across County departments. The work will serve as a racial equity academy for the County, with a training framework for building towards an Anti-Racist County system. 

The Executive Fellow will help to deliver the Government Alliance on Race & Equity (GARE) survey to determine cross-cutting themes, gaps, and examples that can be scaled Countywide. This work will be informed by multi-disciplinary data in alignment with the Life-Course framework guided by an understanding of social frameworks for equity. The Executive Fellow will also develop the formats for County departments to report on progress made, competencies and expertise acquired and additional support needed. By navigating the readiness of each department and their progress over time, the Executive Fellow will help the County stay accountable to ensuring constant progress across the County system. The Executive Fellow will also utilize this time to support additional ARDI projects that help to lay the foundation for building an Anti-Racist movement in LA County.

The Executive Fellow, in close coordination with the Executive Director, will ultimately create a plan for training and capacity building across LA County departments, and socializing that plan through stakeholder engagement and community outreach. Overall, this initiative will enable the County to become an actively anti-racist institution, fighting systemic racism in all the places the County can effectively reach. 

By April 2023 the Executive Fellow will have overseen the development and initial implementation of a training and capacity building plan, making sure it is as efficient and effective as possible. This will include the following:

  • Conduct a thorough review of the current landscape In collaboration with the Culture and Climate Work Group, conduct surveys to understand the current equity related training needs of County departments; identify best practices – including curriculum, tools and approaches – from other parts of the country that could be beneficial in implementing a training and capacity building program for LA County; provide thought leadership and coaching on how to imbue equity across County programming.
  • Develop a comprehensive training and capacity building plan – Collaborating with County DEI experts and Employee Resource Groups, examine the organizational culture and behaviors and that begins with the initial workgroup training and subsequent working group trainings; utilize the “Heads, Hearts, Hands” process to help define skills behaviors and attributes for a racially just workplace; scope, sequence and develop the training framework, train-the trainer model, curricula, agenda, schedules and materials that will lead to a racial equity academy for the County, ensuring that trainings are evaluated and deliver practical tools; identify relevant data and metrics, setting benchmarks for tracking progress and assessing and developing competencies; finalize Countywide training agenda.
  • Engage stakeholders and catalyze buy-in – Identify barriers to implementing trainings and recommendations; solicit and incorporate input from stakeholders to build consensus around the plan; communicate and engage relevant stakeholders in progress towards the plan and ARDI related initiatives.
  • Develop implementation framework and roll out recommendations – Establish framework outlining short and long-term capacity building goals, timelines, priority areas, clear roles of internal and external stakeholders, and data systems for tracking progress; support capacity building, creating internal infrastructure and systems to evaluate and support progress with additional tools necessary for long-term process and behavior change.
  • Support long-term implementation – Oversee integration of the training framework and a Racial Equity Train the Trainer model by working with leadership across Departments to manage the initiative; measure and broadly share progress towards goals; and integrate accountability mechanisms for long-term deployment of the framework.
  • Provide integration support – Under the leadership of the Executive Director, Racial Equity work closely with the ARDI team to help enact an anti-racist policy agenda throughout the County by responding to the Board of Supervisors directives as needed.

KEY STAKEHOLDERS

  • Julia Orozco, Acting Branch Manager – Policy Implementation and Alignment Branch, Los Angeles County Chief Executive Office
  • D’Artagnan Scorza, Ph.D., Executive Director, Racial Equity – Anti-Racism, Diversity and Inclusion Initiative, Los Angeles County Chief Executive Office

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Approximately 15 years of professional experience in training, capacity building, curriculum development, behavior change communications/marketing, or similar relevant field, particularly with a strong record of success in instructional design
  • Past work or educational experience in employing anti-racism measures
  • Familiarity with large systems and large systems change, those with experience in the public sector preferred
  • Excellent stakeholder engagement skills
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills with an ease in delivering public presentations
  • Superior critical thinking and analytical skills
  • Robust change management and curriculum development experience, supporting new process or programs across multiple coalitions of stakeholders
  • Cross-cultural agility, relating to a wide variety of diverse audiences with strong emotional intelligence and empathy
  • Self-motivated and goal-oriented leader who can also be an independent worker
  • Capacity to sustain progress within potentially ambiguous environments
  • Humble approach to in scaling change and achieving ‘wins’ often without credit
  • Ability to synthesize complex information into clear and concise recommendations
  • Understands the need for solutions to support all people in a community regardless of race, religion, gender, immigration status, or ethnicity
FUSE Corps is an equal opportunity employer with a core value of incorporating diverse perspectives into our work at every level. We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply for this position.
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