Abt Associates Racial Equity Plan


Ignited by the murder of George Floyd, Abt CEO Kathleen Flanagan issued an internal directive to reflect on the role of racial equity within our organization and the communities we impact. Three areas of exploration were outlined: workforce, client projects, and our communities.


The result was the creation of our Racial Equity Plan, the first step in a never-ending journey to become actively antiracist. The Racial Equity Plan set out to determine present inequities and create a plan to hold ourselves accountable to address our shortcomings. To include all communities our organization impacts and assume responsibility for our commitments, the plan is comprised of three work streams.  

  1. Reflecting Inward 
    • Assess & Analyze
    • Organizational Competency
    • Improve
    • Accountability
  2. Highlighting and Contributing to Our Work
    • Historical Project Review
    • Racial Equity Collaborative
  3. Connecting Our Communities
    • Pro Bono Project
    • Donation Matching

Reflecting Inward seeks to understand and improve upon our shortcomings, including through education of all staff and increased transparency. Highlighting and Contributing to Our Work assesses and enhance the quality and quantity of our racial equity-based client offerings to better meet the needs of our clients. Finally, Connecting Our Communities applies a racial equity lens to our community outreach efforts to ensure the organizations most in need are reached. ​

  • Completed a comprehensive internal audit of all aspects of our workforce that included a two-year look-back, pay analysis, recruitment practices, compensation processes, and policy review.
  • Conducted employee experience surveys, interviews, and focus groups and 50 leadership interviews.
  • Established a partnership with a DEI vendor to co-develop a learning program on inclusive leadership for all senior leaders within the organization.
  • Completed an assessment of historical project work related to racial equity.
  • Launched the Racial Equity Collaborative in partnership with two Black-led small businesses.
  • Selected our Pro Bono Project partner, Our House, and began assisting with the formalization and documentation of their service delivery model.
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