Method: This study used a mixed method approach to examine the impact of four virtual workshops. Following each workshop, participants completed a survey via REDcap to evaluate the workshops. A total of 519 participants across all four workshops responded to 21 statements and six open-ended questions about participants’ knowledge change, impact of the workshops, and self-perception and organizational behaviors towards anti-racist work. Paired sample t-tests were conducted to examine knowledge change before and after workshops. Thematic analysis (Attride-Stirling, 2001) was used to identify codes, categories and themes across the open-ended questions in Dedoose. To address rigor and trustworthiness coders conducted peer debriefing for each workshop session.
Results: Across all workshops, quantitative results indicated significant participant knowledge change before the workshops vs after the workshops, ts>-20.77, ps<.001 (Mpre=4.74, SDpre=1.29; Mpost=5.90, SDpost=0.91). Half the participants (50.4%) said the workshops had a positive impact on their learning, and 60.1% indicated active participation sections allowed for deeper learning. Most participants (70.4%) said they were individually committed to advance racial equity in CW, but fewer indicated (20.6%) that their organizations were committed to racial equity activities. Qualitative analyses of the first workshop supported these results. Three main themes emerged: (1) New Knowledge: Participants indicated that historical content and data of past racial disparities and structural racism in CW was new knowledge; (2) Implementation of Racial Equity: Participants shared individual actions of implementing racial equity in CW, but at an organizational level didn’t know or said the organization was not engaged in implementing racial equity; (3) Positionality: Participants indicated they had more individual control in engaging in on-going racial equity work but were less enthusiastic that their organization were on the same future journey.
Conclusion/Implications: This study contributes to the literature by demonstrating that focused anti-racist workshops help generate new knowledge and ideas for participants to advance racial equity in their work. The virtual workshops achieved knowledge change and attitudes of structural racism in CW and had a positive impact on participants overall. Participants articulated ways they would individually stay committed to the process but indicated less confidence in their organizations’ engagement. Overall, this study shows that anti-racist workshops for the larger CW workforce is important for knowledge acquisition, personal reflection, and engagement about ways to advance racial equity it the CW system. Future research is needed to examine long-term impact and identify mechanisms for influencing organizational engagement in racial equity work.