Consulting Partner Sought to Support Development of Civic Framework to Advance Racial Equity

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Consulting Partner Sought to Support Development of Civic Framework to Advance Racial Equity



About the Civic Leadership Alliance

The Indianapolis Civic Leadership Alliance (CLA) is a collective of intermediary service organizations that has come together to advance shared civic priorities and partner on citywide events and initiatives. Building on Indy’s strong commitment to collaboration, the purpose of the CLA is to harness the unique strengths of our civic organizations to accelerate progress, maximize shared opportunities, and generate greater collective economic, social, and mission impact for our city.

CLA participants currently include Visit Indy, Indiana Sportscorp, the Arts Council of Indianapolis, and Indiana Humanities serving as lead partners together with the Indianapolis Urban League, Indy Chamber, Downtown Indy, IndyHub, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, and others based on specific initiatives and program priorities. The CLA also works closely with the City of Indianapolis as well as philanthropic and corporate partners. Krista Skidmore serves as volunteer chair of the CLA given her knowledge of and experience with the participating organizations through her years of dedicated board and community service.

Developing A Shared Civic Framework to Advance/Accelerate Equity Priorities and Progress

The CLA partners are initiating a collaboration to develop a framework that will provide a unified set of key questions and a structured approach to advancing racial equity within and across our civic sectors. We believe we can affect meaningful systemic change in our city faster and better by working together to leverage our institutional resources to advance equity priorities within and across each of our sectors. The proposed focus of this work will be to engage a consultant(s) to conduct an assessment and develop an approach that will inform our collective work to dismantle systemic racism and accelerate racial equity in Indianapolis.

Scope of Work

We are conducting an open process to source a consulting partner(s) to work with the CLA to conduct a DEI assessment of our nine civic partners and create a strategic framework/approach that accelerates DEI practices and outcomes across our civic organizations and sectors, with a specific focus on racial equity in this phase.

The goal is to generate an evidence base that identifies interventions implemented by civic organizations that are most effective in improving racial diversity, equity, and inclusion in Indianapolis. These findings will be used to design and refine DEI plans to impact the sector’s work in leadership, partnerships, and beneficiaries. The framework/approach must be scalable for implementation across the civic sectors represented by the CLA including arts & culture, tourism, sports, downtown and neighborhood development, and workforce development.

The CLA wishes to adopt the “Inclusive City” guiding questions and framework developed by the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) as a guidepost for this work. We are seeking a partner that will help us develop an approach and framework that is in strong alignment with ​CICF’s Inclusive City criteria​, while also remaining open to additional recommendations based on our cross-sector goals.

While we envision the following to be potential elements of the scope of work, we are seeking a qualified consulting partner to help advise on the best process to achieve our goal:

●  Industry best practices and leveraging existing research/resources/processes, including an assessment informed by the guiding questions developed by the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) and it’s Inclusive City program
●  Sector-wide survey(s) engaging key stakeholders
●  Facilitating interviews, focus groups, and cohort conversations
●  Participating in 1-2 CLA retreats/meetings with all partners to review data and invite input into the framework/approach design

The deliverable for this phase is a set of recommendations and detailed approach/framework to guide DEI goals, strategies, measurement, reporting, and resources to support implementation. While this scope of work does not include an extended contract for implementation, the framework and strategy that is developed will inform ongoing investment and engagement.


The CLA is dedicating grant funding provided by Lilly Endowment to support this initiative. The budget for this engagement is not to exceed $60,000.

Project Timeline

The goal is to select a consulting partner and finalize the program scope/approach by December 30, 2020, to support the following timeline in Q1 2021. We anticipate an engagement of 90 days with the potential to extend to support additional phases:

● Conduct surveys, interviews, and cohort conversations in mid-to-late January 2021 (for example, interview CEO and Chair of all 9 organizations)

Framework Development & Deployment with CLA Partners

●  Review data/invite inputs during retreat with CLA partners in February 2021
●  Develop framework and recommended approach in March 2021
●  Finalize and launch framework and approach with CLA partners in March 2021

Submission Guidelines

Interested consulting partners are invited to submit their qualifications to​ by December 14 at 5pm EST.

Please limit your response to a maximum of three pages including the following information:
A summary of experience, including relevant work examples conducting relevant DEI assessments and developing deliverables – especially for large, complex institutions or sector/system-wide initiatives.
A high-level description of your proposed methodology and approach to this scope of work based on the budget and timing.
Information on your specific DEI technical competence, training, and credentials.
Brief bios on all individual(s), including any subcontractors, that will be engaged in this work.
References for relevant work that we may contact.
Selection Process

●  The nine Civic Leadership Alliance partners will review and score all RFI submissions using a shared evaluation rubric.
●  The CLA will conduct interviews with a maximum of three finalists via ZOOM the week of January 4, 2021, to further discuss qualifications and invite perspective on the scope and recommended approach.
●  Once a finalist is selected the CLA will work with the consulting partner(s) to finalize a detailed scope of work, budget, and executed partnership agreement.

Questions and Support

Please email any questions or requests for application support to ​​. Thank you for your interest.


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