The Maryland Equity and Inclusion Leadership Program


The Maryland Equity and Inclusion Leadership Program aspires to develop, engage, and support current and emerging leaders from private, public, and nonprofit sectors who are interested and committed to helping their organizations become more diverse, equitable, and inclusive at various levels.

Who Should Apply?

This program is ideal for developing and experienced professionals, from public, nonprofit, and private organizations who want to design, lead, and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives in their organizations.

It is open to executive, mid-level, and emerging leaders without substantial DEI knowledge or experience and who wish to acquire the requisite knowledge, attitudes, and skills to develop and support DEI in their organizations.

Key Program Benefits

Program participants will learn from and network with DEI industry experts, experienced practitioners, scholar-researchers, and their peers to gain a deep yet comprehensive understanding of various DEI issues facing individuals, groups, organizations, and whole communities, including best practices and evidence-based strategies for addressing these issues.

Sponsoring organizations will gain valuable DEI knowledge and expertise from their participating employees, nurture a diverse and inclusive talent pool and a stronger leadership pipeline, and expand their reputations as organizations that are committed to diversity, inclusion, and equity.

Program Philosophy & Approach

In this program, we believe in bringing our whole selves into the learning experience and in using a constructive, systemic approach to help participants explore, experience, and deepen their understanding and awareness of structural, social, and cultural inequities in their workplaces and communities. In particular, the program places a primary focus on a deeper understanding of race and racism – what those terms mean, where they come from; how they operate for individuals, groups and for society as a whole; and why it continues today.

The program also takes an intersectional approach to understanding diverse, equitable, and inclusive organizations. We do this by exploring and discussing various identities (race, gender, religion, ability, sexual orientation, etc.) and histories of systemic oppressions within a framework of racial inclusion, equity and belonging. Participants can expect to engage in honest introspection and genuine learning conversations with others in a supportive environment throughout the program. We also focus heavily on creating a program environment that supports relationships and connection among our participants. Those connections are what sustain the work and the resource support when the program ends.

The year-long arc of the program uses theory and empirical research to inform participant learning and class discussions while at the same time developing leadership and project planning skills to encourage participants to put theory into practice. The program is truly more than theory and discussion – it is a real opportunity for our participants to engage, build connections, and act to become part of the change they seek in their organizations and communities.

Program Format and Structure

The program includes a two-day opening retreat at the beginning of the year, followed by ten monthly sessions held in-person, and a concluding colloquium in which participants present their DEI projects to the program community. This yearlong program is delivered through dynamic speakers, interactive activities, and facilitated group discussions. It also includes ample networking opportunities, as well as between-session coaching, small group dialogue, and reflective exercises for participants.

The Maryland Equity and Inclusion Leadership Program is offered jointly by the Schaefer Center for Public Policy at the University of Baltimore and the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights.

For more information or questions about this program, please contact us at