On November 6, 2013 Applied Research Center (ARC) was rebranded as Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation. The content on this page was published on the ARC website prior to the rebrand.
Racial Justice Think Tank Celebrates
30th Anniversary and Plans for 2012 Election Year
March 27, 2012 (New York, NY) -- Celebrating 30 years in the racial justice movement, the Applied Research Center (ARC) announces its first managing director, Melinda Weekes, who is renowned in the social justice movement for her experience as leadership strategist, facilitator, and collaborative capacity builder.

As the nation’s leading racial justice think tank and publisher of, ARC works to popularize racial justice and prepare people to achieve it. The addition of Weekes to the ARC team marks a significant moment in the organization’s history as it expands its movement-building initiatives through media, research, leadership training, research, and solutions-focused events.

“Melinda is a gifted facilitator of group processes and program planning, the kind who can feel what isn’t being said and make room for it,” said ARC President Rinku Sen. “ARC is thrilled to have Melinda take over our program management, providing welcome guidance and tools that enable the staff to keep producing at the fast pace and high quality in which we take pride. Judging from the early reactions of colleagues in the field, our choice will be applauded throughout the nation.”

“I’m thrilled to join the Applied Research Center -- to be counted among a team that has worked towards racial justice for the last 30 years is a great honor I don’t take lightly,” said Weekes. “I couldn’t think of an organization that I would rather be a part of in terms of mission, vision, and values in grappling with perhaps the greatest challenge of our time. ARC is singular in how it applies innovation, rigorous thoughtfulness, and practicality to making the quest for racial justice actionable and inspiring.”

ARC works to change the way society talks about and understands racial inequity, focused largely on institutional and structural racism as opposed to personal prejudice. With a powerful solutions-oriented approach and a mission that sees racial justice as key to social justice, ARC is connected to hundreds of organizations and leaders around the country, including community-based, state and regional, as well as national allies and partners.

Recent ARC achievements and plans for 2012 include:
  •, a daily news site where race matters. In the 2012 election cycle, is a leading source of racial news and analysis, with a particular focus on the increasingly racialized assaults on access to the vote and reproductive rights, to be expertly covered by investigative reporter Brentin Mock and gender reporter and columnist Akiba Solomon. 2012 saw the launch of breaking news blog, following the latest developments from Trayvon Martin to viral videos.  
  • Facing Race National Conference - the largest national, multi-racial gathering of leaders, educators, journalists, activists, and artists on racial justice. Facing Race 2012 will be held November 15-17 in Baltimore, MD with with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz serving as keynote speaker.
  • Drop the I-Word campaign to eradicate the dehumanizing slur "illegals" and related terms from everyday use and public discourse. Thousands of people have pledged, and this year ARC will reach out to the AP Stylebook, hundreds of journalists and media outlets nationwide to document their policies and ask them to drop the i-word.
  • Landmark research reports on social justice issues built around the concept of “Race and …” – highlighting the intersection and compounding effects of race and key societal issues, most recently: “Shattered Families” on immigration enforcement and child welfare, “Don’t Call Them Post-Racial” on young people’s perception of race, and “Color of Food” on food justice at the intersection of labor and good food movements.
  • Racial Justice Training & Webinar Series - ARC has trained thousands of activists and also works with a variety of institutions and public agencies such as health departments, school districts, universities and philanthropic organizations. ARC’s Webinar Series makes ARC’s highly requested trainings accessible to a wider audience such as “Changing the Conversation on Race” and “Taking Real Steps Towards Racial Justice.”

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ABOUT ARC - The Applied Research Center (ARC) is a 30-year-old racial justice think tank that uses media, research and activism to promote solutions. ARC’s mission is to popularize racial justice and prepare people to achieve it. ARC also serves as the publisher of, a daily news site where race matters. For more information on ARC’s work, please visit