Race Forward

For more than 40 years Race Forward, founded in 1981 as the Applied Research Center, has worked to dismantle structural racism by building collective community power and transforming institutions. From the start, Race Forward’s founder Gary Delgado was clear: Black and brown communities hold the key to solving the racial inequities in our systems that have long harmed the lives and communities of people of color.


In 2017, we merged with the Center for Social Inclusion (CSI) to increase capacity as the need for our work continued to grow. CSI, which was founded in 2001 by Civil Rights Attorney Maya Wiley and political scientist Jocelyn Sargent, was home to the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE), a joint project formed in 2015 between CSI and the Haas Institute for a Fair & Inclusive Society (now the Othering and Belonging Institute). At this point, our work expanded from working with community organizations and organizers to local and regional government employees and leaders. Today, the GARE network comprises more than 400 local and regional jurisdictions working to develop racially equitable practices and policies.

Race Forward is also home to the groundbreaking, award-winning Colorlines. The publication's goal when it first appeared as a magazine in 1998 was to popularize racial justice narratives and center people of color who were both affected by and fighting systemic racism. Other media, particularly mainstream media, were not telling stories about race or calling out racism at the time. In 2010, Colorlines evolved into a daily digital news site, setting the stage for more race and ethnicity news beats within mainstream media. Relaunched in April 2023, following a period of research and reimagining, Colorlines is now a multimedia platform for people wanting to learn about, connect, and act for racial justice.

Our work has not been easy! The racial justice movement has witnessed many victories and, with each, a subsequent backlash. But despite these challenges, we have seen significant progress toward building a multiracial democracy. And we remain steadfast in our commitment to continue working until this vision becomes a reality! The timeline below highlights some of our accomplishments over the past years.   

Our Timeline