Investing in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion | The AIR Equity Initiative

AIR understands that diversity and inclusion are fundamental to reducing inequity. Building upon the organization’s commitment to this work, the AIR Equity Initiative invests in institutional and individual capacity to build diverse and inclusive ways to generate and use evidence about equity. These investments will:

  • Develop the skills and expertise about diversity to inform the questions we address, the way we conduct our work, and the solutions we pursue;
  • Identify infrastructure and human capital investments external to AIR to support the career advancement of underrepresented scholars and thought leaders; and
  • Leverage the expertise of diverse researchers, thought leaders, and implementers to provide new insights to advance equity.

Select Work

Currently, we have launched two programs to advance these efforts: a pipeline partnership program with three universities and an equity-focused learning series.

Pipeline Partnership Program

Instagram AIR Pipeline projectThe Equity Initiative supports the Pipeline Partnership Program which engages with graduate-level students and faculty at three minority serving institutions: Howard University, The University of Texas at San Antonio, and Georgia State University. The program is an extension of AIR’s ongoing efforts to build cultural competence within AIR and the field. AIR works collaboratively with university faculty, AIR experts and Institute Fellows provide seminars and workshops to explore best practices in research methodology, data analysis, ethics, and evidence-based program and policy implementation to enhance equity, diversity, equity, and inclusion in research and technical assistance. Some students also participate in mentorships and internships with leaders who conduct research, evaluation, and technical assistance projects, both in the United States and abroad. These efforts have enabled both AIR staff and university students and faculty to diversify their professional networks, enrich research pursuits, and reinforce and extend skills that are relevant for research careers.

The Program consists of three main components:

  1. Education and training: AIR Institute Fellows, leadership, and staff and university faculty will deliver seminars, workshops and lectures on research methodology and design, education policy, equity, workforce development, and other relevant topics.
  2. Mentoring and career advancement: Students will have opportunities to be participate in mentoring relationships with AIR Institute Fellows and internal experts, who are exceptionally accomplished and well respected in the field. 
  3. Networking and internships: AIR will promote its Summer Internship Program which offers students the opportunity to work on active research projects and put what they are learning into action.

AIR-Wide Learning Events

AIR’s commitment to diversity and inclusion begins at home. To further equip staff with the necessary knowledge to promote this work, AIR is conducting a series of staff-wide learning events, led by some of AIR’s Institute Fellows. Session topics have included:

  • Implications of Race, Inequality, and Diversity in the Context of Urban Migration – Dr. Michael Stoll, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Race, Inequality, Ethnicity, Diversity and Health Status – Dr. David Hayes-Bautista, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Segregation and Higher Education – Dr. Camille Charles, University of Pennsylvania
  • Social Integration as Economic Policy: Reflections on the Contours of Inequality – Dr. Marta Tienda, Princeton University
  • Stereotype Threat and Minority Student Academic Performance – Dr. Claude Steele, Stanford University & Dr. David Osher, AIR
  • The U.S. Labor Market in 2050: Trends, Causes, and Policy Implications – Dr. Harry Holzer, Georgetown University
  • Disparity of Access to Information Among First-Generation College-Going Students – Dr. Larry Hedges, Northwestern University