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Race Forward Releases New Report: Race-Explicit Strategies for Workforce Equity in Healthcare and IT

June 15, 2017 (New York, NY) — Leading racial justice nonprofit Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation today released its latest research report: Race-Explicit Strategies for Workforce Equity in Healthcare and IT. The report identifies barriers to achieving equitable employment outcomes for workers of color in the workforce development field, and outlines solutions to increase racial equity through a systemic, race-explicit, and outcome-oriented approach.

Race-Explicit Strategies for Workforce Equity in Healthcare and IT provides leaders and practitioners with tools to support the advancement of workers of colors in healthcare and information technology (IT) — two of the fastest growing sectors in the United States. The report identifies major internal and external barriers to greater adoption of race-explicit strategies for equity in the workforce development field, including racial bias and discrimination, limited tracking of racial disparities and outcomes, and a lack of services to support low-income workers of color.

“In order to improve outcomes for workers of color, practitioners must abandon a ‘color-blind’ approach to workforce development,” said Tara Conley, Senior Research Associate at Race Forward. “Providing race-explicit strategies for accessing healthcare and IT careers will become an increasingly critical role for workforce development agencies as these sectors continue to take over more of the labor market.” 

“Our research centers on investigating the entrenched systems of racial inequity that persist within workforce development institutions, between institutions in the greater workforce field, and throughout society,” said Julia Sebastian, Research Associate at Race Forward.

Drawing from academic research, interviews with workers of color and key experts in the field, and results from a 2016 Race Forward survey of 70 workforce development organizations nationwide, Race-Explicit Strategies for Workforce Equity in Healthcare and IT outlines four key strategies for achieving better outcomes for workers of color:

  1. Implement an institutional assessment and racial equity plan to develop a targeted method for addressing internal bias and institutional racism.

  2. Negotiate a racially explicit employer partnership that shifts the awareness and priorities of employers in the industry.

  3. Engage in structural advocacy with philanthropists and regulatory agencies.

  4. Build an inclusive and racially explicit narrative strategy to guide individual institutions and border workforce development coalitions.

Race-Explicit Strategies for Workforce Equity in Healthcare and IT is a part of Race Forward’s larger body of work on Race and the Economy. It follows on the heels of Race Forward’s 2016 report Confronting Racial Bias at Work and the interactive multimedia site Clocking-In: Making Work that Works for All of Us (in English and Spanish). Race Forward has a near 40-year legacy of conducting cutting edge research on the intersection of race and the economy, and is a leading authority on the root causes of racial inequities in the United States, including the conscious and unconscious policies and practices that foster systemic racism, and the solutions needed to proactively promote racial equity.

To learn more, visit and follow #WorkforceEquity on social media.


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.