Race Forward Names Renowned Journalist & Author Jeff Chang as new Vice President of Narrative, Arts, and Culture
June 5, 2018 (New York, NY) — Leading racial justice organization Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation, has named critically acclaimed, award-winning journalist and author Jeff Chang as the organization’s Vice President of Narrative, Arts, and Culture. Chang will be the first to hold the position, which was born out of the nonprofit’s 2017 merger with Center for Social Inclusion.
As Vice President of Narrative, Arts, and Culture, Chang will direct Race Forward’s narrative programs, including its innovative Strategic Communications department and the award-winning Colorlinesnews site—which Chang co-founded in 1998. He will also expand the organization’s work around cultural equity and justice in the arts sector, deepen its engagement around the arts and racial justice, and advance new initiatives around cultural strategy.
“I can’t describe how happy and proud I am to be able to return home to Race Forward,” said Chang, who most recently served as Executive Director of the Institute for Diversity in the Artsat Stanford University. “Right now, as movements are surging and converging all around us, there is no place I would rather be than working alongside my bold, strategic, and visionary colleagues at Race Forward to fight for racial equity and justice."
In his new role at Race Forward, Chang will lead efforts to build on the organization’s near 40-year legacy of advancing racial justice narratives and cultural shift. Through Colorlines reporting, the nationally-recognized Drop the I-Word campaign, pragmatic tools such as the “Talking about Race” Toolkit, and convenings like Facing Race and FRED Talks, Race Forward continues to lead efforts to counter historic narratives seated in racism that criminalize communities of color. Race Forward is committed to elevating the stories, voices, and victories of communities of color by creating tools and strategies that shift conversations on race and advance racial justice.
Chang, who also co-founded the migrant-led artists network CultureStr/ke, has been a USA Ford Fellow in Literature and a winner of the North Star News Prize. He was named by The Utne Reader as one of "50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World,” by KQED as an Asian Pacific American Local Hero, and by the Yerba Buena Center for The Arts as one of its 2016 YBCA 100 list of those “shaping the future of American culture.”
“As our newly united organization looks to the future, we’re honored and thrilled to welcome Jeff back to the Race Forward family,” said organization President Glenn Harris. “No one is better suited to lead our team in integrating big-picture strategic thinking that establishes and expands new narratives about racial justice in an inclusive democracy.”
Chang has written extensively on culture, politics, music, and the arts. His works have garnered critical acclaim and numerous honors, including: the American Book Award, the Asian American Literary Award, and the Ray + Pat Browne Award for Best Work in Popular Culture and American Culture. His 2016 book, We Gon' Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation was named the Northern California Nonfiction Book Of The Year, and was declared “the smartest book of the year” by the Washington Post.
Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation united with Center for Social Inclusion in 2017 to become the new Race Forward.
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. Founded in 2002, CSI catalyzes community, government, and other institutions to dismantle structural racial inequity and create equitable outcomes for all.
The new Race Forward is home to the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE), a national network of government working to achieve racial equity and advance opportunities for all. Race Forward publishes the daily news site Colorlines and presents Facing Race, the country’s largest multiracial conference on racial justice.