Forty years is a lot of history and there are so many events we could have included. In order to keep this initial timeline manageable, a few themes were selected to highlight: Environmental Racism, Racial Equity, Immigration, and Mass Incarceration. Look for these threads below.
Additional events—past and present—that highlight the important work Race Forward is doing to build a multiracial democracy will continue to be added, so check back often.
- HistoricalJan 20, 1981 to Jan 20, 1989
During this administration, “Reaganomics” and the war on drugs was introduced. In addition to cutting budgets for renewable energy research and development, the solar-thermal panels put up on the White House by the previous administration were removed.
- Race ForwardMar 31, 1981Applied Research Center (ARC) Founded
Articles of Incorporation were filed March 31, 1981. ARC was founded by Gary Delgado as an analytic resource for community organizations of color in the Center for Third World Organizing (CTWO) network.
- Race ForwardJun 23, 1988
James Hansen’s testimony and the subsequent media coverage increased awareness of Global Warming with predictions of extreme climate events. Communities with less political power and wealth are more likely to be impacted by climate change. This disproportionately effects communities of color.
On the Recognition of Global Warming | More Colorlines Coverage
- HistoricalJan 20, 1989 to Jan 20, 1993George H. W. Bush Presidency
Winning the election after his supporter’s infamous (and racist) Willie Horton campaign, the Bush administration went on to war under false pretenses.
- HistoricalMar 27, 1992L.A. Rebellion
The L.A. Rebellion follows the acquittal of officers in the Rodney King trial.
- HistoricalJan 20, 1993 to Jan 20, 2001Clinton Presidency
During this administration, The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 signed into law. This welfare reform was passed based on racist stereotypes.
ARC takes it on by publishing False Foundations of Welfare Reform and taking actions for a national alliance of welfare rights organizations (between 1991 and 2001).
Gary Delgado on Welfare Reform | Rinku Sen on Welfare Reform | The “Welfare Queen” Sterotype | Report The False Foundations of Welfare Reform
- ColorlinesMay 1, 1998First issue of ColorLines magazine published
The first issue (v1.1 Summer 1998) was completed in May 1998. ColorLines magazine emerged from the merging of RaceFile and ThirdForce. Founded by Bob Wing and Jeff Chang, ColorLines worked to bring attention to race, especially stories from the perspective of communities of color. ColorLines the magazine ran for over 11 years.
- Race ForwardSep 1, 1998Grass Roots Innovative Policy Program
The GRIPP program engaged 70 local organizations and 22 national organizations that worked together on a total of eight local and state policy initiatives. Out of eight initiative campaigns, six resulted in the enactment of successful policies.
Contrary to the conventional wisdom, GRIPP demonstrated unequivocally that community-based organizations can indeed win progressive policy changes (including concrete health insurance access and anti-discrimination policies, and school discipline policy changes) when they use strategies that lead with race.
- HistoricalJan 20, 2001 to Jan 20, 2009George W. Bush Presidency
During this administration, the war on terror was introduced. An increase in racial profiling and discrimination of Muslims came in the years following the events of September 11, 2001.
- HistoricalSep 11, 2001
On September 11, 2001, four airliners were hijacked and used to attack prominent buildings in New York and Washington D.C. In response to the 9/11 attack, the USA Patriot Act is passed on October 26 of the same year, leading to an increase in racial profiling of Muslims, deportation, and detention.
9/11 Attacks | Impact of Increased Surveillance | The Public’s Truth
- Race ForwardSep 8, 2002Racial Justice Leadership Institute Launches
Applied Research Center launches Racial Justice Leadership Initiative (RJLI), offering training and consultation to help thousands of activists and organizations advance racial equity. It was the predecessor to current Building Racial Equity training series.
- Center for Social InclusionSep 23, 2002Center for Social Inclusion Founded
In 2002, the Center for Social Inclusion (CSI) began in the living room of Civil Rights Attorney Maya Wiley, with a $75,000 seed grant from the Open Society Institute as a project of the Tides Center. The brain-child of Maya and Jocelyn Sargent, a political scientist, they started CSI in the wake of September 11th to support racially equitable policy solutions to a devastated city.
The federal government made $20 billion available to support rebuilding from the attacks, but the bulk of this money targeted two wealthy neighborhoods in Manhattan. CSI's early efforts lifted up the need of other communities, particularly communities of color, devastated by the attacks and the reactionary policing of immigrants and Muslims.
- Center for Social InclusionAug 7, 2003
Intended to provide a better understanding of the potential impact of the Mississippi Adequate Education Plan (MAEP), as well as to help identify inadequacies in the education reform system and implications for further education reform efforts.
- Race ForwardFeb 15, 2004
Report authored by Rinku Sen and Will Pitz in Spring 2004 highlighting ways foundations concerned with social justice have disproportionally excluded communities of color.
- Race ForwardNov 11, 2004 to Nov 13, 2004
National Conference on Race and Public Policy conference held in 2004, later to be renamed Facing Race.
- HistoricalAug 29, 2005
Over 1,800 deaths. 80% of New Orleans was submerged after flood walls broke. Climate change may have played a role in increasing the damage from the storm. The impact on communities of color were greater and lasted longer. Racism played a large part in this impact, from neglect, to a decrease in available public housing, to profiling by police.
The tragic outcomes and lack of federal response point to systemic racial inequity.
Former Race Forward staffer, Tara Conley created this short film about the experience.
- Race ForwardMar 22, 2007 to Mar 24, 2007
With a new name, ARC’s national conference, Facing Race takes place at CUNY Graduate Center in New York City. It has more than 50 workshops and panels on the racial wealth divide, transforming public schools and creating state policy that addresses racial disparities.
- Center for Social InclusionAug 21, 2008CSI Launches Stop Dog Whistle Racism
CSI launches the website Stop Dog Whistle Racism to track the ways in which race was used as a "dog whistle" during the 2008 presidential election cycle. The website is helmed by Ludovic Blain.
- HistoricalJan 20, 2009 to Jan 20, 2017Obama Presidency
The election of President Obama—the first Black president—led to a rise in racism and white supremacy amongst assumptions of a post racial society.
- Center for Social InclusionJan 29, 2010CSI begins advocating for broadband infrastructure and access in communities of color
Congressman Bennie Thompson and the Mississippi State Conference of the NAACP, CSI co-convened a public hearing on “Building Opportunity through Broadband” where telecommunications professionals, advocates, and experts in public health, economic development and education testified about the state of broadband in Mississippi’s 2nd Congressional District and its disproportionate negative impact on communities of color. Learnings are submitted to the FCC. CSI also publishes “Broadband in the Mississippi Delta.”
On December 7, 2010, CSI continued this discussion by co-hosting a symposium with the Center for Technology, Innovation and Community Engagement.
Building Opportunity Through Broadband | Broadband in the Mississippi Delta | Paper: Broadband Equity Today | National Symposium on Community-Scale Broadband
- ColorlinesJun 23, 2010
The new ColorLines will cover events as they unfold–bringing you not only the most urgent news but the context in which to understand it. The last issue of ColorLines magazine was the November/December 2009 issue.
- Center for Social InclusionAug 30, 2010
This report covers long term recovery failures as well as advocates for policy changes.
- Race ForwardSep 15, 2010
A study on the relationship between racial justice organizations and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities. ARC takes an intersectional approach to racial justice.
In 2012, ARC with Southerners on New Ground (SONG) began a cohort to consider the challenges and opportunities in tying the racial justice movement to LGBT liberation in the U.S. South.
Report: Better Together Report | Report: Better Together in the South
- Race ForwardSep 28, 2010Drop the I-Word Campaign Starts
The Applied Research Center and ColorLines launch pledge campaign to drop usage of the word “illegal” in reference to human beings. On November 15, 2011, Drop the I-Word Calls on Associated Press to Remove “Illegal Immigrant” from Stylebook.
- Race ForwardNov 2, 2011Shattered Families report published
“Detaining and deporting parents shatter families and endanger children left behind.” — Rinku Sen
On May 2, 2012, Seth Freed received an award for reporting via Colorlines after a yearlong investigation on kids these kids lost in the U.S. Deportation system.
Report: Shattered Families | Colorlines article | Hillman prize winners
- Apr 2, 2013
The Associated Press announced the change via a Blog post. On April 10, USA Announced they would stop using the term. The New York Times also announced they’d been considering a gradual shift. As did the L.A. Times follow suite on May 1, 2013.
- HistoricalJul 13, 2013#BlackLivesMatter movement starts
After the acquittal in the trial for the murder of Trayvon Martin, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi start the hashtag and greater Black Lives Matter movement.
- Race ForwardNov 6, 2013
The new name highlights the centrality of addressing race and the urgency of paving the way forward to racial justice.
- GARE2014GARE started as a program of then Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society
Continuing work started in Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative, GARE was created to expand it nationally.
- Center for Social InclusionApr 18, 2014Energy Democracy for All Program Launch
Energy Democracy program started with work in rural South Carolina in 2004 with rural communities in the region to support Black landowners dealing with incorporation and saving their farmland. 2010, CSI released the white paper Energy Democracy: Community Scale Green Energy Solutions. With this paper, we initiated a broad dialogue among academics,community advocates and environmental justice experts linking a clean economy to the conditions communities of color face today.
The Energy Democracy report permits CSI to identify ways that renewable energy – an area of boundless opportunity – can bridge local communities of color to the national policy debate.
- ColorlinesJul 11, 2014
Colorlines’ Aura Bogado interviews a Central American migrant child about her experience with the hieleras, the immigration holding facilities in the United States.
- HistoricalJul 29, 2014
Children such as one interviewed by Colorlines, testifies to congress about their experience while in custody with DHS.
- GAREAug 5, 2014 to Aug 6, 2014
GARE organized and led a convening of government and community leaders from throughout the country in Minneapolis.
- Race ForwardJun 20, 2015
Providing critical support for the use of responsible language and story framing that reflects ethical and rigorous journalistic standards and affirms the dignity and human rights of people of all races.
- Center for Social InclusionNov 9, 2015
Government Alliance on Race & Equity becomes a joint project of Center for Social Inclusion and Haas Institute for a Fair & Inclusive Society.
- Center for Social InclusionMar 29, 2016CSI Convenes First Food Cohort
CSI begins convening the National First Food Racial Equity Cohort, a group of 16 breastfeeding advocates, supporters, academics, and other practitioners from across the country.
- HistoricalApr 1, 2016
LaDonna Brave Bull Allard co-founds the camp in response to the pipeline being built near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. The pipeline would transport crude oil which could contaminate soil or water during leaks.
- GAREMay 25, 2016
Racial Equity Here is a movement of community organizations, local governments, foundations, schools and businesses across the country making a commitment to advance racial equity. Starting with five mayors meeting in New York.
- HistoricalJan 17, 2017 to Jan 20, 2021Trump Presidency
From the Muslim Ban to children in cages, the environmental protection rollbacks to the response to the coronavirus, President Donald Trump’s administration presented a challenge to racial justice and equity.
- Race ForwardJun 28, 2017
Borne out of opportunity, abundance, urgency, and a mutual desire for greater alignment and multiplied efforts to deliver on both organizations’ core principles of advancing racial equity and supporting communities most impacted by structural racism.
- Race ForwardSep 13, 2017
Mass Freedom will focus on elevating the voices of those who have been most impacted by mass criminalization via talks, Colorlines reporting, and resources.
- HistoricalMar 11, 2020WHO declares COVID-19 could be a pandemic
COVID-19 caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus was addressed with a global shutdown with social distancing resulting in a mass shift to virtual gatherings and meetings, providing more accessibility to folks not able to gather at public venues.
- HistoricalMay 25, 2020
George Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer when he was pinned down after repeated attempts to communicate that he couldn’t breathe. This follows incidents of other police killings such as Eric Garner, Elijah McClain.
Protests occur around the world against police violence and racism.
- HistoricalSep 4, 2020Attacks on Critical Race Theory are renewed
President Trump sends a memo to federal agencies prohibiting racial equity trainings. President Trump denounced critical race theory and announced the formation of the 1776 Commission to promote "patriotic education" in a speech on September 17, 2020. On September 22, 2020, the president issues an Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping. Many bills since were introduced to ban education utilizing critical race theory.
- Race ForwardNov 7, 2020
In response to increased attacks on Critical Race Theory, Race Forward releases a set of tools to counter attacks on critical race theory.
- HistoricalJan 20, 2021
President Joe Biden takes office and makes a series of executive orders around promoting racial equity and calls out white supremacy.