HAND Media Room

Recognized as the largest community development and affordable housing coalition in the region, the Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers (HAND) has worked for over 25 years to support member efforts in establishing housing equity and supportive services for in-need families and households throughout Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. Read more about HAND.

Media Room

If you are a member of the media, or simply someone who wants to know what’s going on in your area, HAND is a valuable resource to all who are interested in understanding community development dynamics in our region.

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HAND members are inspiring and informative. Read our Member Spotlights and keep up-to-date on vital issues impacting our region with Matters@HAND, our thought leadership series sponsored by Enterprise & Bellwether Enterprise of Lisa Sturtevant & Associates, LLC.

As part of our ongoing commitment To provide the necessary tools to help create and sustain thriving communities in the Washington, DC region, we are pleased to present Matters@HAND, a 12-part thought leadership series sponsored by Enterprise & Bellwether Enterprise and written by leading research and policy expert Dr. Lisa Sturtevant of Lisa Sturtevant & Associates, llc.

The work that provided the basis for this publication was supported by funding under an award with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  The substance and findings of the work are dedicated to the public. The author and publisher are solely responsible for the accuracy of the statements and interpretations contained in this publication. Such interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views of HUD.

We are excited to host the latest installment of our racial equity programming for our members
who want to deepen their racial equity journey.

At HAND, we are committed to centering racial equity, and the LEAD Racial Equity Institute is one of the ways we are taking action. We are constantly inspired by our members remaining intentional in this commitment alongside us, and we have heard their call for a program that goes a step beyond traditional diversity, equity, and inclusion training. This program will equip housing leaders to actively drive racial equity, transforming their organizational culture, policies, and practices to make a lasting impact, both internally and externally. 

Learn, Empower, Activate, and Deliver – these four words capture the heart of the institute and represent each letter of LEAD, depicting the type of leader that will develop through this program. This program requires the decision-makers who can directly impact change to be at the table, where they will design and learn how to implement a Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (REDI) plan unique to their organization and its goals.

It’s time to move from understanding to action.



Explore The Program 

This 10-month cohort program is designed to foster a collaborative style of learning to address a wide range of competencies, skills, and practices. Each session is carefully crafted to be inclusive and relevant to the unique challenges faced at the cross-sector of racial equity and affordable housing and community development. Throughout the course of this program, each session will provide opportunities for relationship building, peer discussion, and learning from experts and practitioners on valuable topics such as:

The History of Racism in Housing

    • Create a safe space to process learnings from pre-work, in-person and virtual meetings, and coaching sessions to identify how what they learn relates to their life and work.
    • Understand the broad definitions & impacts of Racial Equity, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, White Supremacy, Intersectionality and how racism manifests in housing.

Foundations for Advancing Racial Equity

    • Participants will explore their own implicit biases, understand the ways in which inequities show up within organizations, and learn how operationalizing REDI can disrupt them, as well as explore strategies specifically as it relates to their leadership and organizational culture.

Operationalizing Racial Equity

    • Discuss the leadership commitment required for racial equity. Participants will explore elements of an equitable organizational culture and decision-making processes.

Developing Plans & Using Impact Assessment Tools

    • Understand the process of developing racial equity strategies, be able to articulate where they are in the process, and work towards completion of a plan or launch a new initiative.
    • Participants will be able to identify strategic points of applicability within their organization and practice using the tool on an upcoming decision or program.

Equitable Community Engagement

    • Understand the importance of community involvement in advancing housing equity.
    • Explore effective communication and engagement strategies including culturally competent outreach.

Real Estate Development & Vendor Diversity

    • Understand the importance of specific goals and practices that lead to equitable development.
    • Explore how internal practices, such as increasing vendor diversity and spending, can advance racial equity.

How to Measure Success REDI – Metrics, Dashboard and Accountability

    • Guidance and best practices in plan implementation, accountability and sustainability.
    • Gain an understanding of setting measurable goals as well as monitoring and evaluating success.

Sustaining Your Racial Equity Work

    • Build connections for ongoing support and collaboration within the cohort to monitor and evaluate the success of plan implementation.
    • Learn best practices for implementation, measuring success, and how to overcome challenges.


Each participating organization will form a team of 2 to 4 leaders, who will conduct a racial equity assessment, craft a comprehensive racial equity plan or initiative, and address challenge areas to drive progress. Teams will also receive five one-hour coaching sessions to support participants in developing their action plans or addressing challenges that may arise. Organizational leaders, individuals with REDI responsibilities, or teams can benefit from individual or group coaching or a combination of both. Details regarding the time commitment, program schedule, and cost are outlined below. 

Navigating the Application Process: Who Can Apply & How

The first step to identifying if your organization is able to apply is answering yes to the question, “Is your organization a HAND member that is working in development or housing services (including property management, resident services, and housing counseling)?” If you can answer yes, please proceed to Step 2.

The second step is to build your team. Each interested organization should form a team consisting of at least two but no more than four internal leaders. The head of your organization must participate in the cohort if selected. Please refer to the list below as you begin to form your team. As a reminder, all participants are required to                  attend 7 out of 8 sessions (program schedule).

    • Executive team members (CEOs, Executive Directors, Presidents)
    • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officers
    • Board chairpersons and members
    • Other senior leaders (Program Directors, HR Directors, Vice Presidents)
    • Community stakeholders (Advisory Council Chairpersons)

After organizing your team, we encourage you to review the application questions as a team prior to submitting the application.


Applications are due on or before February 23, 2024. After reviewing the questions, please designate one team member as the point of contact. The cohort size is limited, so we highly encourage you to apply as soon as possible to secure your spot. Selection and Notification will occur in March of 2024.





The cohort program will run for eight sessions beginning in April and ending in December. 

  • Session 1 | In-person | Friday, April 19 | 9am – 5pm
  • Session 2 | Virtual | Wednesday, May 22 | 9am – 1pm
  • Session 3 | Virtual | Wednesday, June 26 | 9am – 1pm
  • Session 4 | Virtual | Wednesday, July 24 | 9am – 1pm
  • Session 5 | Virtual | Wednesday, September 18 | 9am – 1pm
  • Session 6 | Virtual | Wednesday, October 16 | 9am – 1pm
  • Session 7 | Virtual | Wednesday, November 13 | 9am – 1pm
  • Session 8 | In-person | Friday, December 13 | 9am – 5pm
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