The Racial Justice Training Institute (RJTI) is grounded in a commitment to race-equity as an integral and essential part of antipoverty advocacy and assumes that legal aid and public interest lawyers are key to achieving real change. The overarching goal of the Institute is to develop a network of equal justice advocates committed to advancing a coordinated racial justice advocacy agenda.

By placing the most up-to-date racial justice tools in the hands of front line advocates, the Institute provides real opportunities to address the impact of structural racialization in housing, education, employment, and health care, among others, and ensure that race is front and center in our efforts to eradicate poverty in the communities we serve.

The Institute covers a wide range of equity best practices ranging from traditional litigation and policy advocacy to media and messaging to the latest debiasing strategies. Working in teams, and with support from skilled faculty and facilitators, participants use new racial justice knowledge and skills in their daily work and in the race-equity initiatives that teams pursue throughout the Institute.

The inaugural class of trainees, selected from a nationwide pool of applicants, serves a diverse population of clients and includes 38 attorneys from 19 organizations in 11 states. Here is what some of them had to say at a recent meeting in Chicago.