Advancing Family Economic Mobility in New England: A Regional Learning Community on Racial Equity

Advancing Family Economic Mobility in New England: A Regional Learning Community on Racial Equity

Published: Jun 28, 2024
Publisher: Mathematica

Emily Metallic

Key Findings
    • The learning community leadership team highlighted the importance of adapting meeting agendas to participants’ needs and interests, and creating trust and safety to promote authentic disclosure and engagement to facilitate sharing during meetings
    • Participants were motivated to attend meetings because they valued sharing and learning with other states, they wanted to develop a network of peers, and because of the federal government’s involvement in the learning community
    • Participants reported they strengthened their relationships with and started collaborating more with other New England states outside of meetings
    • All six New England states completed an assessment of their racial equity landscape to inform technical assistance needs, and participants are in the early stages of receiving this assistance

Mathematica conducted a process evaluation of a New England regional learning community where state leaders share and learn best practices, innovations, and solutions related to advancing racial equity in their human services work. The learning community is facilitated by a leadership team made up of a consultant and a state co-lead, with support from the ACF regional administrator and an ACF regional program specialist.

This brief describes the activities of the learning community from December 2021 to December 2023 and includes takeaways related to how facilitators planned and facilitated meetings, meeting attendance, how sharing and learning occurred, what participants learned and collaboration examples, and changes participants made to their agency or states' practices, policies, and programs. The goal of the initiative is that participants embed racial equity in practice, programs, and policies to improve outcomes for children and families.

“For me, the most helpful thing has been being able to connect with other states and hear what their successes and challenges are, and seeing how much each state is grappling with some similar things. We are all trying to figure out how to navigate improving racial equity within the structure of government." - Learning community participant

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