About Race Forward

Race Forward advances racial justice through research, media and practice. Founded in 1981, Race Forward brings systemic analysis and an innovative approach to complex race issues to help people take effective action toward racial equity. Race Forward publishes the daily news site Colorlines and presents Facing Race, the country’s largest multiracial conference on racial justice.


Race Forward's mission is to build awareness, solutions and leadership for racial justice by generating transformative ideas, information and experiences. We define racial justice as the systematic fair treatment of people of all races, resulting in equitable opportunities and outcomes for all and we work to advance racial justice through media, research, and leadership development.


Race Forward envisions a vibrant world in which people of all races create, share and enjoy resources and relationships equitably, unleashing individual potential, embracing collective responsibility and generating global prosperity. We strive to be a leading values-driven social justice enterprise where the culture and commitment created by our multi-racial and diverse staff supports individual and organizational excellence and sustainability.


Fundamentally, Race Forward’s work to advance racial justice is embedded in the following core values: 

  • People of Color: We value the voices, experiences, cultures, intellect and multi-dimensionality of people of color.
  • Justice: We value fairness, the best foundation for unity among all people.
  • Transformation: We value the ability of individuals and systems to change in ways that make racial justice possible. We recognize the importance of struggle in fueling transformation.
  • Bridging: We value the insights, relationships and holistic understandings that are deepened when divergent paths come together.
  • Expression: We value voicing and sharing our viewpoints with integrity even when difficult, unpopular or risky.
  • Adaptability: We value relevance and resourcefulness in the face of changing social, economic, political and ideological environments.
  • Delight: We value making space for laughter, beauty, and joy in the work of social change.


Research: Race Forward Research conducts cutting edge, original and broadly accessible research on pressing racial justice issues focused on the significance of race to social and economic outcomes in our society. Race Forward Research seeks to provide evidence of the entrenched and systemic barriers to racial justice. While our research acknowledges the impact that individual acts of racism have on people of color, we primarily seek to contextualize them within a deeper, structural analysis of racial injustice. Underpinning our rigorous research is the belief that a true understanding of racial justice issues requires an explicit, though not exclusive, examination of race and ethnicity. Race Forward’s Research agenda is built around understanding how race compounds and intersects with other societal issues. At Race Forward, we refer to this intersectional approach as “race and …” In addition to developing original research and data on pressing race issues, Race Forward Research also highlights ways to nurture and strengthen social change.

Media: Race Forward Media encompasses the various ways we push forward the conversation on race in the media. Race Forward’s primary media product is Colorlines, an award-winning, daily news site where race matters. Colorlines brings a critical racial lens to its journalism, as it covers breaking news, offers context and analysis for fast-moving stories and digs deeper with investigative reporting. Race Forward Media’s work is guided by the importance of storytelling, whether it’s a story that shows the personal impact on a specific person or family or a story of the broader societal impact of unjust policies. Through Colorlines and broader initiatives, Race Forward leverages the robust power of multimedia through the creation of original videos, infographics, and other visual platforms to amplify its work. Finally, given that Race Forward’s leaders and staff are widely regarded as experts on race, Race Forward Media promotes racial justice through appearances and interviews in broadcast, print, and online media.

Practice: Race Forward Practice supports advocacy and action on complex racial justice issues in several ways. Our work includes mobilization, skill-building, leadership development, organization- and alliance-building, issue-framing, messaging, and advancing solutions. Through the Race Forward Racial Justice Leadership Action Network, we provide targeted online and in-person training and consulting services in these areas. We also provide a team of seasoned speakers who can address public audiences on a range of racial justice issues. Race Forward also organizes the Facing Race National Conference, the largest national, multiracial gathering on racial justice. This biennial conference features talks, panels, workshops, films, and performances by established and rising leaders in the racial justice arena and brings together advocates, students, academics, journalists, community organizers and leaders, and artists. From time to time, Race Forward spearheads and engages in action-oriented campaigns. A key example is our Drop the I-Word Campaign, which seeks to eliminate the widespread usage of the inhumane and derogatory word “illegal” in reference to immigrants, demonstrating the links between racially charged language and racially unjust policies.