REAL – Race, Equity And Leadership

Over the past few years, we have witnessed several events in cities across the nation that call on each of us, as Americans, to examine more critically issues of race and equity and how they impact so many facets of our society. Local elected officials have been called on, in ways we have not seen until recently, to show leadership on these issues.

About REAL

Race, Equity And Leadership is NLC's effort to equip its membership with the capacity to respond to racial tensions in their communities and address the historical, systemic and structural barriers that further inequity and racism in our nation's cities. Systemic, institutional racism and bias have had negative impacts on public policy. A focus on racial equity provides NLC the opportunity to align its unique strengths and resources across the organization to proactively prepare city leaders to apply a racial equity lens to policies, initiatives, programs and budgets. A racial equity lens offers city leaders the opportunity to create meaningful conversations and take action by assessing the ways in which municipal government can both benefit and burden racially diverse communities. Read more...

REAL Mission

To strengthen the leadership capacity of local elected officials in addressing the impact of race and equity issues in their communities.

REAL Vision

A nation in which every local official is equipped to effectively lead and serve an inclusive, thriving and healthy community.

Why start with race?

While REAL is designed to eventually address concerns expressed by city leaders related to all equity issues, such as discrimination based on income, class, gender and sexual orientation, racism is arguably the most prevailing equity issue in American society today. Slavery is a shameful and embarrassing part of our nation's past while systemic, institutional racism continues to be a part of our nation's present. Racism is therefore a critical concern as well as a difficult subject to talk about and take action upon. As such, REAL focuses first and foremost on racism in its exploration of the equity issues that impact American cities.

Read about NLC's historical commitment to addressing issues of race and equity in American cities.

Join the REAL Network

The REAL network provides stakeholders, community members, and leaders with an opportunity to participate in upcoming events, webinars, and other learning and leadership opportunities to further racial equity locally and nationally.  Sign up below to join the REAL Network and receive regular updates and learn how to take action.