Denver, like many cities, is engaging in ambitious efforts to help employees reduce interpersonal bias and deepen their commitments to overcoming systemic bias. However, little is known about the effectiveness of these efforts, nor about how to ensure these efforts realize intended impacts. In 2021, Denver Mayor’s Office of Social Equity and Innovation (SEI) hopes to train employees via its race and social justice (RSJ) academy. The RSJ training is designed to help participants reduce interpersonal bias and collaborate more effectively with coworkers; and overcome systemic biases to better serve Denver residents.
Working together to improve the content of the RSJ training and to evaluate its effectiveness, the People Lab and SEI hope to develop more effective training materials which will ensure that employees who receive the RSJ training grow, and that Denver, and cities around the world, learn how to structure trainings like to realize intended outcomes. Additionally, the People Lab and SEI are partnering to evaluate a city-wide Equity Challenge. Modeled after the 21 Day Equity Challenge, the Denver Equity Challenge will be a website where staff go to take part in daily challenges dedicated to building anti racist environments. By partnering in this research, Denver will be helping its employees grow and leading the national push towards evidence-based equity solutions for public service employees.