Public Policy Associates, Inc. (PPA) President Paul Elam led a discussion with young scholars and their mentors to support the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s efforts to create a more diverse pool of public policy researchers.
Dr. Elam moderated a presentation on integrating diversity, inclusion, and equity into the workplace at the 2017 Leaders in Equitable Evaluation and Diversity (LEEAD) Symposium on September 22 in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the LEEAD advisory committee and is a mentor to a new Casey scholar.
“Researchers do their most innovative and effective work when they are in diverse teams providing multiple perspectives, and the work is enhanced when companies create welcoming environments that integrate diversity, inclusion, and equity into the workplace,” Dr. Elam said.
The LEEAD initiative is part of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Expanding the Bench initiative seeking to improve research, evaluation, and public policy by increasing the number of historically underrepresented researchers and evaluators.
Serving on the panel with Dr. Elam were Kimberly Spring, director of research and evaluation at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Cristina Magana, director at Harder+Company, and Sandra Williams, chief executive officer of the Q-Q Research Consultants.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core values at PPA, which has invested in culturally responsive training for its own staff and developed a model for culturally responsive research that it has shared with other researchers around the country.
“Racial equity is an element of virtually every area of public policy, and it is vital for researchers to intentionally include it in their work,” Dr. Elam said.
Dr. Elam’s own work is focused largely on juvenile justice, and he incorporates racial equity into all his work. He works with the Governor’s Committee on Juvenile Justice, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and local jurisdictions to ensure that justice-involved youth are treated fairly and equitably.
For more information about Dr. Elam’s work, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.