Racial Equity Network

Racial Equity Network Leadership Academy National League of Cities
Racial Equity Network Leadership Academy National League of Cities


NLC connects a network of thousands of local elected officials from across the nation who represent cities both small and large. We use this immense network to build coalitions of leaders from both local governments and the racial equity thought space.

REAL Council

The REAL Council is an assembly of local leaders deeply engaged and committed to improving racial equity in their communities and carrying out the mission of REAL across the country. The REAL Council provides guidance and oversight to efforts and initiatives that strengthen the leadership of NLC's membership to address the impact of race and equity issues in their communities. The Council will ensure REAL is integrated across the organization and the membership. The REAL Council is comprised of representatives from each of NLC's committees, councils, advisory, and constituency groups. The REAL Council convenes in-person twice a year at NLC's two annual conferences. The leadership of the REAL Council offers tangible insights and opportunities to apply a racial equity lens within cities and within each of NLC leadership structures.

REAL Board of Advisors

The REAL Board of Advisors helps provide strategic advice and direction for the initiative. This diverse group of thought leaders, members of the media, and local and federal decision-makers help drive our work throughout the year.  The Board helps REAL cultivate new strategic partnerships, connect with new audiences, develop new content, and engage with local elected officials in new formats. The Board of Advisors is comprised of elected officials, state league directors, federal officials, corporate executives, national leaders, faith leaders, academics, researchers, media/communication experts, and academics/researchers. The Board of Advisors convenes in-person twice a year at NLC’s two annual conferences. A third convening each year is optional depending on need. Other engagement may include conference calls or individual consultation (in-person or phone). NLC will also look to the Board of Advisors to further the goals for REAL by maximizing platform opportunities to elevate the expertise each Advisory Board member offers toward advancing and integrating the work in cities across the country.