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Our Initiatives

Public Research PollS

The Center conducts polls on issues of public importance related to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the United States and other democratic societies. Our polls center the lived experiences of communities of color, the LGBTQ+ community, women, and other marginalized groups. This means that our surveys always contain samples of these populations and that a cultural competency lens guides our work on these communities. The survey content sometimes reflects the research priorities of our affiliates and our partnerships with other progressive organizations in the corporate, governmental, and nonprofit sectors. The Center frequently releases findings from these polls through reports and white papers.

Leadership Training on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

The Center provides world class instruction and provides two professional certificates through our 2U/GetSmarter, Inc., powered on-line courses on “Leading Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” and “Leading Racial Equity and Inclusion in Organizations.” For information on individual enrollments in these courses and B2B sales, please visit the GetSmarter website.

Business Forum

The Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy’s (CSDD) Business Forum is a membership organization focused on providing corporate leaders with access to cutting edge social science research about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). The goal is to provide business leaders with insights that they can translate to their own diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. The forum will also provide a space for corporate leaders to exchange ideas and share information about their experiences leading DEI initiatives within their organizations.

Northwestern University's Racial Equity Incubator

Working in partnership with Northwestern’s Office of Neighborhood and Community Relations, the Center works with between three and six non-profit entities a year in order to boost their capacity to promote racial equity in the Evanston and Chicago communities. The non-profits will be selected annually through the competitive RFP for Incubator grants issued by the Office of Neighborhood and Community Relations. Modeled on Northwestern University’s the garage ecosystem for young entrepreneurs, the Racial Equity Incubator provides grant recipients with training sessions to sharpen their understanding of racial equity, help them develop racial equity frameworks for their organizations, and develop action plans to implement their projects in their communities. The incubator also provides the grantees with opportunities to form long-term research partnerships with Northwestern faculty members.

Diversity and Democracy Lecture Series

The Center sponsors annual lectures that focuses on current issues in the politics of diversity within democratic societies. The speakers are drawn from the ranks of government service, the corporate and nonprofit sectors, and academia.

Graduate Research Grants Program

The Center provides a limited number of small grants—between $500 and $1,500—to graduate students engaged in dissertation research/writing on diversity issues to use for activities like site visits, transcription services, the purchase of software, etc.