Building Multiracial Cities, Race and Equity Cohorts- Apply by January 3rd!

Posted on November 23, 2021

Building Multiracial Cities Purple

Join us in January 2022 as we start a 6-week guided course for staff and officials that are integral in helping build their cities Race and Equity efforts! 

By the year 2045, the United States will be a majority of people of color in society. 43% of US millennials are people of color and 47% of GenZ are people of color, and children of color now make up the majority of students in public schools in the United States. Yet as the United States becomes more diverse, racial inequality is widening and hardening. Local governments play a key role. Unless local governments work towards racial equity, they create racial inequity because that is the status quo.

Many city and county governments are embracing racial equity and hiring officials to support and build multiracial communities, despite resistance from folks threatened by demographic shifts.

This cohort is for officials working on supporting multiracial cities. This is the first ELGL cohort of its kind. We encourage participants who are curious  and would like to co-create with us a program we plan to repeat over and over again.

The themes we will focus on are:

  • Resourcing ourselves
  • Creating  a multiracial coalition of support
  • Leading culture change 


This cohort is less about listening to experts and more about supporting each other and collaborative problem solving. Come prepared to share what you’re struggling with and to provide support to others. Please note* this cohort size will be limited to a select group of 15 participant’s for an improved cohort experience. Follow up application questions will be sent to those who submit interest and used to help select participants. 

Click to Apply

$150 full cost or $100 with ELGL membership. Fee assistance is available only to ELGL members. If the cohort fee would pose a barrier to your participation, please reach out to

Cohort Outline

  • Session 1 – Resourcing ourselves: In the words of Anita Hill “this is not a sprint nor a marathon: this is a relay.” To lay the foundation for being in deep community and solidarity, we will start with why, provide a program overview, co-create community agreements, and get to know each other. Then we will focus on how to resource ourselves so we can hold space for others, including spiritual, mental, physical, social, cultural practices and getting clear on our purpose and our boundaries.
  • Session 2 – Group breakout sessions 
  • Session 3 – Gaining internal/external support: Folks leading municipal racial equity efforts cannot change cities by themselves. We need a constellation of supporters pulling in the same direction within both government and the communities we serve. This session will focus on identifying, uniting, and galvanizing internal and external stakeholders committed to inclusion and shared prosperity, including folks in all City agencies, faith, cultural, and business leaders, students and teachers.
  • Session 4 – Group breakout sessions
  • Session 5 – Facilitating difficult conversations one on one and community wide: Transformation is built in one on one and community-wide conversations. This session will focus on effective persuasion techniques for one on one conversations. We will also discuss how to structure larger community conversations so that all participants feel seen, heard, valued and respected. 
  • Session 6 – Cohort Graduation!

Cohort Dates

This cohort will take place over six weeks, with 3 live sessions facilitated by cohort leads and three breakout sessions driven by participants. 
  • January 25, Session 1
  • February 1, Session 2* Small Group Breakouts
  • February 8, Session 3
  • February 15, Session 4* Small Group Breakouts 
  • February 22, Session 5
  • March 1, Session 6

*Session Times: 11am PST/ 12pm MST/1pm CST/2pmEST (Two hour sessions, some days may end early particularly with small group work days)*

Who Should Apply?

The ideal audience for this cohort will be officials working on advancing Racial Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts within their communities and/or those whose primary focus is not racial justice and DEI but who are deeply committed to improving racial equity in their communities.

Click to Apply

About the Facilitator: Karen Fleshman

Karen Fleshman

Karen Fleshman is a mentor, activist, entrepreneur, attorney, author, educator, proud San Franciscan, and a single soccer mom. Building on a career in the immigrants rights movement and preparing young adults of color for careers in tech, In 2014 she founded Racy Conversations, a workshop facilitation company, to inspire the antiracist generation. Her first book White Women We Need to Talk: Doing Our Part to End Racism, will be published by Sounds True in 2021 and is available for preorder here.

As a white woman, Karen experienced sexual harassment, wage gap, and glass ceiling from white men in the workplace, but she noticed the most harmful workplace behavior came from white women who viewed her as a threat to their proximity to white men in power. She worked for diverse organizations leading diverse teams, largely reporting to women of color, who were excellent mentors and role models. Emulating them, she learned how to relate across difference as equals and build relationships based in trust.

Prior to starting her consulting practice in the Bay Area, Karen was a founding team member of Year Up New York. She served in the City of New York Department of Youth and Community Development in a variety of capacities, including Director of Special Projects, Assistant General Counsel and Director of Internal Review.  She is a cofounder of Citizenship NYC, a city service that assisted 50,000 New Yorkers to apply for naturalization, and of Ladders for Leaders, a city service that connects low-income high school students to corporate internships and college.

Karen began her professional career as an immigrant community organizer in Austin, Texas.

About Racy Conversations 

Racy Conversations is a workplace workshop facilitation and public speaking company. Our mission is to inspire the antiracist generation. We focus on transforming workplaces to become fair, fun, and creative by teaching people how to relate across difference as equals. What distinguishes our work is that participants leave understanding the history of how and why we became so divided and having practiced what they can do to improve.

Our core values are: love, learning, action and accountability and Black women get paid. We give 10% referral fees to Black women who refer work to us.

We serve companies, nonprofits, and government agencies. We specialize in companies with a highly educated workforce, including tech companies, law firms, health and science research nonprofits.

About our Sponsor, GovHR USA

GovHR USA is a certified woman-owned business that provides comprehensive executive recruitment, interim staffing, human resources consulting and organizational analysis consulting services for local governments, intergovernmental organizations, school districts as well as other governmental and non-profit entities. GovHR USA consultants have worked in all areas of local government leadership including city/county management, human resources, public safety, finance, public works, parks and recreation, and utilities. This combined hands-on knowledge and experience have made GovHR USA a proven leader in public sector consulting. GovHR USA is devoted to increasing the representation of women and minority professionals at all levels of local government and actively support local government organizations dedicated to this cause.


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