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Madison Area Technical College Advances Equity and Inclusion Goals through Facilitative Leadership

Madison, WI, USA
HueLife, LLC

Government Champion

Vice President of Diversity and Community Relations

Cost

Initial:
16 Thousand USD

Project Status

Operational since 2020

More Reading

HueLife Website

At a Glance

Madison Area Technical College needed a sustainable, institution-wide plan to address the school's inequities and implemented Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) practices. Equity Coordinators and Equity Change Teams led impactful diversity, equity, and inclusion activities in the college community.

Problem Addressed

Madison Area Technical College sought strategies to achieve its inclusion, diversity, equity, and access (IDEA) goals within the college community. Like many large organizations, units within the college were operating independently rather than collaboratively across departments. At best, there were sporadic, uncoordinated efforts toward incorporating IDEA into the culture of the college community.

The college wanted to incorporate equity goals across their separate campuses, fostering a synergistic inclusion effort. The main goal of this effort was to advance equity and inclusion in every school and department, while developing knowledge of IDEA and the need to think systemically about what it takes to create a welcoming, equitable, and accessible community. With this in mind, the college set out to identify and train individuals looking to be equity champions to share the responsibility and accountability of equity and inclusion work.

Madison Area Technical College used/is using HueLife LLC's training and coaching to address this/these challenge(s).

Solution(s) Used

Madison Area Technical College has utilized HueLife LLC's virtual engagement services, facilitation training, coaching, and strategic planning to reach its equity and inclusion goals.

HueLife helped create a model of Equity Coordinators and Equity Change teams, inspired by the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE). The equity coordinators' charge is to build capacity for equity leaders to advance equity and inclusion across college departments. They are tasked with learning more about inequities in the persistence, retention and completion of the college's students and implementing practical, data-driven solutions to address them. For coordinators to reach their goals, HueLife designed and delivered specialized training in critical thinking skills, participatory facilitation skills, and authentic communication skills. HueLife continues to mentor and coach coordinators while building consensus and planning action with the Equity Change Teams.

HueLife team members, all certified in the Technology of Participation (ToP) Facilitation Methods, facilitated numerous meetings with coordinators and then teams to foster continuity and connection across departments. With their skills, confidence, and trust enhanced through these meetings, the coordinators developed new relationships, explored their identities with DEI activities, and built confidence in leading crucial conversations with continuous practice. During their training, equity coordinators learned how to design and facilitate experiences with a diversity, equity and inclusion lens. Through subsequent virtual brainstorming sessions and small team action plannings they sought out ways to find high-level agreement and implement their shared visions. Each cohort of equity coordinators completes their experience with a year-end reflection, where they take a moment to reflect upon their last year of work and create a plan of action for the next.

All solutions were delivered via a virtual platform to include Zoom meetings and applications such as Google Docs, Mural, and others. As the current situation evolves, the coordinators are excited to meet in-person and continue building relationships and learning from each other while continuing to advance this work.

Outcomes

  1. Intensive half-day training that aids coordinators in establishing the workflows necessary to create actionable steps towards institutional change
  2. Increased confidence and motivation to engage in this work as a result of intensive coaching and mentoring of cohort one, equity change team support, and expanded networks with the community
  3. Action teams representing a cross-section of departments for each strategic direction were created, ensuring departments met their individual and organizational goals
  4. Enthusiastic participation - an additional 40 coordinators joined a second cohort followed by the creation of a third cohort opportunity - highlighting community member interest in DEI goals
  5. More group consensus and committed action as coordinators have been successful in facilitating difficult conversations and asking questions in their respective departments/units

Who Should Consider?

Anyone looking to increase diversity, equity, inclusion, and access across their organization through the development of change champions who facilitate conversations and planning with an IDEA lens.

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