Giving Compass' Take:

• Doug Irving shares Pardee RAND Graduate School's strategy for diversifying leaders in education in order to invest in inclusive public policy.

• How does diversifying leaders in education generate power for justice in public policy? What are you doing to draw awareness towards the importance of schools like this one, which work tirelessly to create inclusive public policy?

• Read on about the persistent need to fill gaps in diversifying leaders in education.

As a Black woman in academia, Shearon Roberts thought the rules seemed pretty clear. Don't get too close to your research. Don't make it personal. Don't speak out too loudly. That all started to change in one week at the Pardee RAND Graduate School.

For years now, the school has made a unique investment in the future of public policy. Every summer, it invites a small group of scholars to campus to learn and practice policy analysis. They come mostly from the professor ranks of colleges and universities committed to serving students of color.

The goal is to bring more people from more backgrounds into the historically monochrome field of public policy—the professors, and then through them, their students. The need is critical, as months of protests against systemic racism have shown. Public policy is where change happens; to be effective, it needs to better reflect the aspirations, lives, and perspectives of the people it serves.

Susan Marquis had just become dean of Pardee RAND in 2009 when she looked around and realized something had to change. “It was clear we needed to do more to diversify our student body,” she said. She set out on a road trip through the South, to pin up fliers and meet with students at historically Black colleges and universities.

Midway through her first sales pitch, she could tell the students had heard it all before—just another graduate school looking to improve its diversity numbers. She stopped. “What can we do for you?” she asked. The answers were the same at every school she visited: Engage the faculty. Give them the tools to be more effective as scholars and teachers. Connect them with fellow faculty leaders around the country.

Read the full article about diversifying leaders in education by Doug Irving at RAND Corporation.