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Racial Equity Leadership Academy

The Achieving the Dream and USC Race and Equity Center Racial Equity Leadership Academy (RELA) is an intensive institute designed to support teams of leaders as they develop bold, strategic racial equity plans and implement actionable change efforts at their institutions. 

The Racial Equity and Leadership Academy is made possible in part by the generous gift given to ATD from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott and additional foundations.


First announced in February 2020, the partnership between Achieving the Dream and the USC Race and Equity supports our continuing efforts to center equity, and especially racial equity, in our student success work.  

Questions can be directed to: [email protected] 

Ten colleges participated in the inaugural RELA cohort: 

During RELA, college teams: 

  • Actively participate in racial equity-focused modules in person and virtually
  • Attend the launch of RELA at DREAM 2023 in February
  • Identify a racial equity change effort to design and implement
  • Receive support from an ATD coach during at least one campus visit and monthly virtual visits over the 2023 calendar year
  • Develop a long-range vision that will guide their identified racial equity change effort


College teams from the inaugural RELA cohort have identified a racial equity change effort, participated in coaching engagements, developed a new vision for their campus’ racial equity work, and launched the rollout of their racial equity change effort with a comprehensive, prioritized action plan. The identified effort and action plan aligned with each college’s Student Success Action Plan and strategic plan. The overall expected outcomes were to increase student persistence and completion through an intentional design to eliminate structural barriers to equity. 

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