Efforts to Strengthen Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
We know that building a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization requires intentional efforts on the part of management as well as every staff member, and we have taken a number of steps toward achieving this goal. Below are a few noteworthy investments that MDRC has made to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion within the organization. (For more information, read MDRC’s Focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: From Commitment to Action.)
The Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Advocacy Council
MDRC’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Advocacy Council (JEDI AC) was created in 1998 to raise awareness about, advocate for, and celebrate diversity at MDRC and to advocate for equity in the workplace. JEDI AC members serve for two-year terms and represent all departments and seniority levels. Standing committees on the JEDI AC include the Events and Communications Committee, the Research Committee, and the Recruitment, Hiring, and Retention Committee. The JEDI AC organizes events, trainings, facilitated conversations, and written communications about diversity, equity, cultural competency, and social justice, and it launches initiatives across departments within the organization to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout all areas of MDRC’s work.
The Mentoring Program
This company-wide program promotes valuable mentoring partnerships within and across all departments, policy areas, and locations at MDRC. The goal of MDRC’s Mentoring Program is to enhance the professional development of staff by improving their understanding of MDRC’s mission and organizational culture, increasing their access to advice about career growth, promoting inclusion, and diminishing feelings of isolation. The Mentoring Program serves an important role in fostering a sense of community across MDRC. More than 80 staff members participated in the Mentoring Program in 2022 as either mentors, mentees or as part of a peer group.
The Judith Gueron Scholars Program
Through our Judith Gueron Scholars Program, MDRC is actively developing a diverse recruitment pipeline by raising the profile of MDRC and the work we do among underrepresented communities and institutions. Specifically, the Gueron Scholars Program offers paid internships for undergraduate and master’s-level students, as well as doctoral fellowships (with stipends) for students engaged in dissertation research. The program is designed to introduce students to the organization, with a focus on those who may not be aware of the policy research field in general or MDRC’s work in particular. All interns and fellows participate in the intellectual life of MDRC by attending seminars and project meetings. Doctoral fellows receive the advice and support of MDRC’s staff in completing their dissertations. Learn more
Launched in 2018, MDRC’s Equity Collaborative was created to integrate perspectives of diversity, equity, and inclusion more fully in our work with program operators, practitioners, and research participants. MDRC’s Equity Collaborative includes staff from across the organization:
- Osvaldo Avila
- Alexandra Bernardi
- Jonathan Bigelow
- Barbara Condliffe
- Hannah Dalporto
- Ivonne Garcia
- Mervett Hefyan
- JoAnn Hsueh
- Seth Muzzy
- Rebekah O’Donoghue
- Ximena Portilla
- Shelley Rappaport
- Amena Sengal
- Sophie Shanshory
- Marissa Strassberger
- Sophia Sutcliffe
- Kyla Wasserman
- Rashida Welbeck
- Donna Wharton-Fields
The Equity Collaborative works to infuse thoughtful and systematic application of culturally responsive, equity-based, and inclusive practices across MDRC’s research and technical assistance projects. In the spirit of sharing what we are learning, we are making the tools, resources, and guidance materials MDRC staff are developing publicly available.
We are dedicating much time and effort to strengthen diversity, equity, and inclusion at our organization. We will periodically update this page with our activities and progress.
To learn more about MDRC’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives, please contact Crystal Byndloss, Director of Outreach, Diversity, and Inclusion, at [email protected].