Climate and Racial Justice Activist Isra Hirsi to Keynote Race Forward’s Inaugural Intergenerational Conference #RaceAnd Our Present Our Future

Maya Boddie
[email protected]


New York, NY—Race Forward is proud to announce climate activist and racial justice advocate Isra Hirsi as the keynote speaker for its "#RaceAnd: Our Present Our Future" virtual event taking place September 25, 2021. 

Nineteen-year-old Hirsi is co-founder and co-executive director of the United States Youth Climate Strike, and the daughter of U.S Representative Ilhan Omar. Isra is also a shining example that young people of color are leading the transformation to a better world. 

“I’m delighted to be part of Race Forward’s #RaceAnd Our Present Our Future conference,” said Hirsi. “Our future depends on the conversations and actions we take right now at our present moment in history. Young activists leading the way with learnings from those who have walked this path will ensure we achieve a world where all people can thrive.”

As Race Forward celebrates our 40th anniversary this year, we are inspired by the ideas, strategies, and solutions of youth and young adults who have and continue to lead racial justice work across the country.

“We’re excited to have the dynamic Isra Hirsi as our keynote speaker for this conference highlighting youth organizers. Young people have long served as the catalyst for social change, from the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s to the uprisings in 2020 following the murder of George Floyd,” said Glenn Harris, president of Race Forward and publisher of Colorlines. “At a time when this nation must reckon with our racial history, the voices of youth of color will both shape and sustain the multiracial democracy we envision and are working toward.”

Hosted by Race Forward and The Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing (FCYO), and led by youth and young adult organizers, "#RaceAnd: Our Present, Our Future," is Race Forward’s first, virtual intergenerational event of its kind. The dialogue will center the solutions-driven, movement-making work of young people within Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander communities.

The conference will highlight the critical role youth play as advocates leading the charge on dismantling structural racism in the United States. Using organizing and policy strategies, visual art and storytelling, these young changemakers will display the ways in which they are continuing the global movement to defend Black Lives.

Register for #RaceAnd: Our Present, Our Future here.




About Race Forward:
Race Forward catalyzes movement building for racial justice. In partnership with communities, organizations, and sectors, we bring systemic analysis and innovative approaches to complex race issues to build strategies and help people take effective action to advance racial justice in our policies, institutions, and culture.

About The Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing:
Founded in 2000, the Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing (FCYO) is a dynamic collective of social justice funders and youth organizing practitioners dedicated to advancing youth organizing as a strategy for youth development and social change. FCYO’s mission is to bring funders and youth organizers together to ensure that young people have the resources, capacities and infrastructure they need to fight for a more just and democratic society.

Race Forward and Amalgamated Foundation Partner on "New Communities First" Initiative

Helen Chin to Lead the New Initiative as Senior Fellow

May 18, 2021, New York, NY—Race Forward and Amalgamated Foundation are pleased to announce a joint Senior Fellowship for Helen Chin. As Senior Fellow, Helen will launch Communities First, an initiative to center the wisdom of communities in reimaging and building the infrastructure our country needs to allow everyone to thrive.

Communities First will leverage the combined expertise, deep understanding of how communities of color, systems, governance, and capital operate, and the broad and rich relationships among these actors to reorient public resources and private capital towards effectively supporting underinvested communities and advancing their visions for thriving neighborhoods.  By  aligning these groups around a set of shared values and commitments we can change the landscape of racial inequity and create a world where race no longer determines life outcomes. 

“We are delighted to have Helen working with us to shift practice so communities are at the center,” stated Glenn Harris, President of Race Forward and Publisher of Colorlines. “From the work we do with local jurisdictions through our Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE), we know change is most impactful when it centers and is driven by community. Helen brings a rich background working with communities, both inside the US and internationally, that will help to ensure a just, inclusive, multiracial democracy.”

“Amalgamated Foundation is thrilled to partner with Helen Chin and Race Forward to launch the Communities First Initiative,” said Anna Fink, Executive Director of the Amalgamated Foundation. “The opportunity to move resources to local communities with a clear equity lens is of crucial importance and Helen’s distinguished reputation and proven track record of action provide the leadership needed to meet the moment.”  

Prior to joining Race Forward, Helen worked at the Surdna Foundation for 13 years as Program Director and as Program Office for Sustainable Environments, leading the program’s work to develop and support people of color and low-wealth communities in promoting infrastructure development to achieve racial equity, and economic, environmental and climate justice. 

Her previous experience includes leading initiatives on land use planning and transportation to advance sustainability at WE ACT for Environmental Justice, serving as Acting Deputy Director at the International Fund for Animal Welfare in Yarmouthport, MA, where she managed a grant portfolio that designed and supported programs to provide Indigenous communities with the skills and resources needed to preserve and protect natural resources and wildlife habitat in over 15 countries. She has also spent a significant amount of time in Africa, Asia, and India, working directly with communities.

Learn more about Communities First.


About Race Forward:
Race Forward catalyzes movement building for racial justice. In partnership with communities, organizations, and sectors, we bring systemic analysis and innovative approaches to complex race issues to build strategies and help people take effective action to advance racial justice in our policies, institutions, and culture.

About Amalgamated Foundation:
Amalgamated Foundation is redefining philanthropy by empowering activism and harnessing generosity to support social change.  We forge connections and collaboration between funders and movements at the frontlines of social change. The Amalgamated Foundation’s values and vision builds upon the legacy of the Amalgamated Bank, a 100-year old financial institution built by textile workers fighting to improve labor rights and the lives of local communities.


Leading Civil Rights Groups Call on President Biden to Create White House Racial Equity and Inclusion Office

CONTACT: Jessica Sarstedt
EMAIL:  [email protected]

January 26, 2021 (WASHINGTON, DC) — In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, historic racial justice protests, and unprecedented commitment by the executive office to confront systemic racism, the Racial Equity Anchor Collaborative—the foremost diverse coalition of national racial justice and civil rights organizations representing and serving more than 53 million people in the U.S.—is pushing for racial equity to be at the forefront of government operations, policies and practices. The coalition calls on President Joe Biden to establish a White House Office on Racial Equity and Inclusion to coordinate the full range of federal agency efforts to advance racial equity, centered on the administration’s promise to confront systemic racism and heal the “soul of our nation.”

America’s deep and long-standing racial inequities were on full display in 2020, from profoundly disparate health and economic outcomes that surfaced in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic to a national reckoning with racism in the criminal justice system, including the extrajudicial police killings of Americans of color. The power of Black and brown voters was also laid bare, as strategic mobilization of historically underrepresented communities led to unprecedented voter turnout in the 2020 election. Generations of systemic racism have shaped conditions for Black, Latino, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, American Indian and Alaska Native communities. The U.S. government played a significant role in shaping these conditions and must prioritize racial equity in order to meaningfully improve them.

Vice President Kamala Harris has made history as the first Black and Asian American woman elected to the position, and President Biden has pledged to appoint “the most diverse cabinet in history.” Furthermore, the Biden-Harris Build Back Better plan designates racial equity as a “distinct pillar” of its approach to building a stronger future for all Americans, and after meeting with the collaborative prior to the inauguration, included in its day one actions an executive order to advance racial equity and support for underserved communities. The coalition embraces this progress while recognizing that sustained commitment and institutional infrastructure will be required to overcome historical injustices at scale. 

Asian Pacific Islander American Health Forum: “In 2020, the world experienced an historical chapter of reckoning with how systemic racism permeates throughout civil society. We call on the Biden-Harris administration to lead the country with a whole of government approach with the charge of dismantling institutionalized racism, tackling the deep rooted inequities that exist for communities of color, while also uplifting and celebrating the resilience and brilliance of the diversity our communities represent. As our country continues to grapple with the harrowing dimensions of this global pandemic, we must ensure equitable access and allocation of resources, including vaccines, for the hardest hit communities is not just an aspiration but a goal realized,” said Juliet K. Choi, CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum.

Advancement Project, National Office: “It is clear that our nation needs moral strong leadership invested in dismantling institutional racism. Building an infrastructure dedicated to advancing racial equity will ensure inequalities in health care, employment, policing and education are addressed. We urge the new administration to build a team dedicated to developing a new culture of inclusion that advances racial equity goals,” said Judith Browne Dianis, executive director of Advancement Project National Office.

Demos: “From the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor to the clear racial disparities in the impact of COVID-19, so much of what we’ve seen in the last year reflects long-standing, government-sanctioned systemic racism in America,” said Nahal Zamani, director of movement building for Demos. “After generations of taking deliberate action to discriminate against Black and brown people throughout the history of this country, the United States government must take equally deliberate action to right its wrongs. The new administration has a historic opportunity to bring the full weight of the executive branch to the task of promoting racial equity. By establishing a White House office singularly dedicated to racial equity and inclusion and tasked with coordinating creative inter-agency efforts at advancing racial equity, the Biden-Harris administration can take a groundbreaking step toward creating an America that lives up to its promise.”

Faith In Action: “With a new administration taking office and what is hopefully the end of the pandemic on the horizon, we have an opportunity in 2021 to respond to the great moral challenge of our country: the systemic racism that has plagued the United States for generations. Restoring the soul of our nation, as the president-elect has set out to do, requires a commitment to ensuring no one stands alone and that no one is left behind. The pursuit of justice and equity must rise above all other concerns because it is the concern that ties all else together. A White House office dedicated to racial equity and inclusion will focus that pursuit and enable us to mobilize our considerable energies across all avenues – social, economic, legal and political – to create a justice-oriented framework for governing and creating a country that is inclusive and celebrates the diversity of all its residents,” said the Rev. Alvin Herring, executive director of Faith in Action.

In December, the Racial Equity Anchor Collaborative outlined the role of a White House Office on Racial Equity and Inclusion in a memo to President-elect Biden’s transition team:

  1. Develop a racial equity vision in collaboration with civil society for the Administration.
  2. Develop shared language, analysis and tools; and build knowledge, skills, and capacity across the federal government and among federal employees to advance racial equity. 
  3. Assist and support agencies in assessing readiness to advance racial equity work, and setting measurable, results-based equity goals. 
  4. In collaboration with the Office of Management and Budget and Domestic Policy Council, conduct racial equity assessments on policy measures.
  5. Ensure and support robust development, collection and use of racially disaggregated data across federal government to advance racial equity.
  6. Foster effective partnerships across agencies and between federal agencies and civil society toward racial equity goals.


National Urban League: “Even before 2020 exposed our pandemic of triple deadly disease and economic hardship and racial unrest, America was a nation that still had only begun to grapple with the legacy of white supremacy. Establishing a White House Office on Racial Equity and Inclusion is our best hope of nurturing that awakening and achieving our true potential,” said Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League.

Race Forward: “We stand at the crossroads of our country’s reckoning of race. We stand at this crossroads because of the vision and work of Black organizers and activists, alongside other organizers and activists of color, who have pushed this country closer to its professed ideals of justice, equality, and freedom for all. The Biden-Harris administration must walk alongside these organizers and activists by taking proactive steps to address systemic racism,” said Glenn Harris, president of Race Forward and publisher of Colorlines. “One important way they can do this is by establishing a White House Racial Equity & Inclusion Office. This idea is not new; there is a growing field of practice amongst local and state governments to address and uproot systemic racism across all functions of government. As James Baldwin stated, ‘Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.’ A White House Racial Equity & Inclusion Office will institutionalize a mechanism to allow us to face and change racial injustices.”

UnidosUS: “An honest and comprehensive reckoning with our nation’s racial history, and enacting solutions to address it, is perhaps the transcendent issue of our time. The path forward may be difficult, complicated, and contested, but it is essential to pursue. Creating an office within the White House to coordinate the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to reduce racial inequality in all of its forms is a crucial first step toward ensuring that our country lives up to its core shared value of equal opportunity for all Americans,” said Janet Murguia, president of UnidosUS.

To learn more about the Racial Equity Anchor Collaborative and speak with the organizers, please contact Jessica Sarstedt at [email protected] or +1.202.802.1835 . 

# # #

The Racial Equity Anchor Collaborative includes the following leading national racial equity anchor organizations (the Anchors): Advancement Project National Office, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Demos, Faith in Action, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Urban League, Race Forward, and UnidosUS. Supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, we work together to promote racial equity, advance racial healing, and ensure that all children, families, and communities have opportunities to reach their full potential.

Race Forward Hails “New Era” in Addressing Racial Inequity

Cheryl Cato Blakemore
Sr. Dir., Strategic Communications
[email protected]


Renews call for Biden Administration to Establish Office on Racial Equity & Inclusion and Commends Revocation of Executive Order 13950


January 21, 2021 (New York, New York) — Joseph R. Biden was inaugurated yesterday as the 46th President of the United States, and took immediate actions to further racial equity in 17 executive actions and proposed legislation which will reverse policies of the outgoing President.

Race Forward Chief of Staff Rachael DeCruz commended the actions. “We welcome President Biden’s actions on the coronavirus pandemic, immigration reform, housing justice, environmental justice, and racial justice,” DeCruz said. “They are a step in the right direction, marking a new era in this country.”

Race Forward also reiterated its call for the Biden administration to commit to creating a White House Office on Racial Equity & Inclusion.

Julie Nelson, Race Forward Senior Vice President of Programs said, “A White House Racial Equity & Inclusion Office will elevate the vital work of racial justice so desperately needed at this critical juncture in our nation’s history. It will also signal how the Administration will center racial justice in all of its policies, programs and decisions on racial justice issues important to not just African Americans and other communities of color who turned out in record numbers to elect Biden and Harris, but to white people as well.”

Biden’s announced actions include :

  • Racial Equity: executive actions that revoke the Trump Administration’s Executive Order 13950, prohibiting racial justice work in training and workshops, direct federal agencies to ensure racial equity within their policies, prevent workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, and rescind the Trump Administration’s 1776 Commission;
  • Coronavirus: a plan to address the pandemic, which has left more than 400,000 dead, disproportionately impacting Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Pacific Islander, and other communities of color; and a legislative package to provide immediate relief to millions of unemployed people and those paying student loans.

  • Immigration: executive actions to urge Congress to give 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. a path to citizenship in as little as eight years, undo the Muslim Ban, end the exclusion of the counting of undocumented people in the Census, halt construction of the border wall, and reverse restrictions on refugees and asylum seekers;

  • Housing Justice: executive actions to extend a foreclosure moratorium for federally backed mortgages and an eviction moratorium for renters; and

  • Environmental Justice: executive actions to rejoin the Paris climate accord within 30 days, cancel the Keystone XL pipeline (which had launched the indigenous peoples-led Standing Rock demonstrations), and reverse more than 100 Trump actions on the environment.

“These actions remedy not just recent, but historic inequities,” said DeCruz. “Government policies laid the original groundwork for the creation of systemic racism. Americans have spoken - in the streets and at the polls - and demand that our government address racial discrimination at its core by establish new policies that dismantle old, harmful systems, and creating new ones, centered in racial equity, that will improve life for everyone.”

Since September 2020, Race Forward has pushed for the rescinding of the Trump Administration’s Executive Order 13950, which banned racial justice work in government. At the Facing Race national conference in November, Race Forward launched a #BannedWords campaign, elevating phrases such as “systemic racism,” “unconscious bias”, and “intersectionality” that the EO 13950 banned from federal government training, workshops, and discussions. More than 1,700 people visited the campaign site to download resources and share their stories on social media, using #BannedWords.

Trump’s order was effectively halted on December 22, 2020, by a court ruling by the Northern District of California, and rescinded by Biden’s executive actions yesterday.

“Trump’s attempt to end racial justice work in government has failed,” said DeCruz. “Now is the time for President Biden to make good on his promise to advance racial equity, and lead the country forward boldly towards a just, inclusive, multiracial democracy.


Founded in 1981, Race Forward catalyzes movement building for racial justice. In partnership with communities, organizations, and sectors, we build strategies to advance racial justice in our policies, institutions, and culture. 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 largest multi-racial, multi-generational conference on racial justice in the U.S.


Leading Civil Rights and Racial Justice Organizations Observe the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Fifth Annual National Day of Racial Healing, January 19, 2021

Media Contact: Elana Needle, 201.248.9724
[email protected]

Leading Civil Rights and Racial Justice Organizations Observe the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Fifth Annual National Day of Racial Healing, January 19, 2021

January 18, 2021 (New York, NY) — America faces a critical juncture in our history. The events of the past two weeks have highlighted the insidious nature of white supremacy, and the damage it causes to our democracy, national institutions, systems, psyche, policies, and infrastructure. In the shadow of a violent Capitol riot, leading racial equity organizations will pause to participate in the National Day of Racial Healing (#NDORH) on January 19 – a day recognizing the critical need to achieve racial equity and restore faith in our fellow citizens and our ability to move forward as a nation. Without healing, we cannot transform broken systems, mend fractured relationships, and ensure equitable COVID-19 relief and recovery.

But without accountability, we cannot have healing. Healing from this moment requires both acknowledging America’s racist history and calling for justice and accountability for the actions of white supremacist insurrectionists on January 6, 2021.

On Tuesday, January 19, 2021, communities, organizations, and individuals, across the country will take collective action during the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s fifth annual National Day of Racial Healing to celebrate our racial diversity and to reinforce and honor our common humanity. Among these organizations are the Racial Equity Anchor Institutions (“The Anchors”) supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The Anchors will create space to explore our common humanity and build the relationships necessary to create a more just and equitable world.

The purpose of the National Day of Racial Healing is to:

  1. Reinforce and honor our common humanity, while noting and celebrating the distinct differences of our various communities.
  2. Acknowledge the deep racial divisions in America that must be overcome and healed.
  3. Commit to engaging people from all racial and ethnic groups in genuine efforts to increase understanding, communication, caring and respect.

The Anchors sustain a formal partnership that has seen them work collaboratively over the past nine years to clear barriers to a racially inclusive democracy, champion the humanity of undocumented communities and communities of color, organize to stop mass incarceration, and end the criminalization of Native, Black, Latino, and Asian communities.

The racial equity organizations have participated in the National Day of Racial Healing since its inception in 2017. The day was established by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and its Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation grantees and partners. The day is a call to action to mobilize communities, organizations, and individuals across the United States in support of truth, racial healing, and transformation. To participate in local events, please check the National Day of Racial Healing’s website. Participate online by following the hashtag #HowWeHeal or joining the national livestream.

Please feel free to participate in the below Racial Equity Anchor hosted #NDORH events:

  • Advancement Project National Office will host a panel discussion Where Do We Go From Here? Racial Healing in 2021 - Join Advancement Project National Office on January 19 from 7:00 to 8:15 p.m. EST for a conversation with leaders from the NAACP, UnidosUS, and the National Congress of American Indians as they discuss the meaning of racial healing in 2021 and how the nation can advance justice and begin the healing process in the wake of white supremacist violence. Register:
  • UnidosUS’ blog will post a story on Jan. 19 showcasing two Affiliates that have been part of the W.K. Kellogg’s Truth, Racial, Healing, and Transformation (THRT) work. Gads Hill Center and Northwest Side Housing Center, in Chicago, Illinois, will discuss their experiences and their journey to heal.

Advancement Project National Office, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, DemosFaith in ActionNational Congress of American Indians (NCAI), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), National Urban LeagueRace Forward and UnidosUS are a collaborative of nine leading national racial equity anchor organizations supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Together, we work to promote racial equity, advance racial healing, and ensure that all children, families, and communities  — no matter the color of their skin or national origin — have genuine opportunities to reach their full potential.


Race Forward Calls For An End To Voter Suppression of Black and Brown Communities

“There Is No Democracy Without Racial Justice”


Contact: Jeff Chang, [email protected]


Early this morning, Donald Trump declared victory in the 2020 presidential election, even as millions of votes in many states had not been counted. He further threatened to go to the Supreme Court to stop the legitimate counting of the vote. This unprecedented move is nothing short of anti-democratic gaslighting, casts unnecessary doubt on the democratic process, and edges the nation closer to a potential constitutional crisis. 

Race Forward stands against Trump’s false declaration and authoritarian threat, which follows an election which saw historic turnout rates among Black communities, Indigenous communities, and other communities of color. These attacks are meant to disenfranchise legally cast votes in states such as North Carolina, Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Nevada, Arizona, and Pennsylvania, all states where voters of color have played a central role in the election.

“Race Forward rejects President’s Trump’s efforts to delegitimize the electoral process, and suppress the vote of Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color. We must respect the expression of the will of the people, as long as it takes,” said Glenn Harris, president of Race Forward, a nearly four-decade old national racial justice organization. “There is no democracy without racial justice.”

The 2020 elections have seen unprecedented efforts to disenfranchise voters of color. Such anti-democratic efforts have included lawsuits to prevent counting of ballots in communities of color, as well as physical forms of voter suppression and intimidation. Every voter has a right to vote safely and without threat,  interference, or coercion. The proper role of authorities, including the Office of the President, is to protect the vote, not to disenfranchise the vote.

These efforts follow Donald Trump’s broad attacks on racial justice movements. On September 22, President Trump signed Executive Order 13950, which bans racial justice work in federal government agencies, with government contractors, and through federal grants and funding. This act was a culmination of a broad range of race-baiting actions. 

Harris said, “From the Muslim ban to immigrant policies that fostered family separation to encouraging violence against peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstrators, Trump’s attacks on democracy mark an escalation on his attacks on our communities and our call for a just, multiracial democratic society.”

He added, “We will continue to stand side-by-side with advocates, organizers, activists, artists, culture-bearers, and local government leaders to fight Trump’s attacks on racial justice and protect the most vulnerable among us. Together we say, ‘Count every vote.’”



Civil Rights and Racial Justice Organizations Demand An Accurate 2020 Census: Allow Sufficient Time for Data Processing and Quality Assurance


CONTACT: Elana Needle
Email: [email protected]

Congress must act immediately to provide an extension of the statutory reporting deadlines for apportionment and redistricting data. This extension is necessary to ensure the Census Bureau has enough time to properly process the massive amount of Census data collected and provide accurate counts to the President and the states. In the absence of this extension, counts that are delivered will be rife with inaccuracies and inconsistencies which will prevent a full count of communities of color.

In May 2017, our collaborative, the foremost coalition of organizations dedicated to civil rights and racial justice, sounded the alarm that the 2020 Census was at risk of not fully counting communities of color. Nearly every aspect of the completion of Census counts has been immensely and detrimentally impacted by COVID-19. And, this was after years of criminal underfunding, a delay in hiring community-based enumerators, the thwarted attempt at adding a citizenship question as well as an additional effort to exclude immigrants from being counted by the administration. Without statutory relief, the Census Bureau will deliver counts to the President around 12/31/20. If Congress does not act to push back the reporting deadlines, the numbers the administration, and the states are provided will not have had sufficient time for adequate data processing and quality checks.

This is another attempt by the administration to erase communities of color from our American democracy. By utilizing inaccurate Decennial Census data, the administration will effectively ensure that communities will be underrepresented in Congress, erroneous voting districts will be drawn, federal funding of upwards of $400 billion annually will be distributed to communities that may not need said resources, decision making will be hindered when providing disaster relief and pandemic responses, and civil rights enforcement will be handicapped. Quite simply, doing our important work in the context of an inaccurate Census count is detrimental to the very communities we are trying to serve.


Advancement Project National Office, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Demos, Faith in Action, NAACP, National Congress of American Indians, National Urban League, Race Forward, and UnidosUS are a collaborative of nine leading national racial equity anchor organizations (the Anchors) supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Together, we work to promote racial equity, advance racial healing, and ensure that all children, families, and communities have opportunities to reach their full potential.

Race Forward Rejects Trump’s Efforts To Dismantle Anti Racism Training and Reverse Progress on Race Equity in America

Leading social justice organization say Executive Order runs counter to Americans’ goals

NEW YORK  – October 26, 2020 – Race Forward, the national racial justice nonprofit organization, continues its commitment to advancing anti-racism training – despite the Trump Administration’s attempt to eliminate anti-racist work by banning dialogue, education, and trainings that address systemic racism. The Executive Order (EO) issued on September 22, 2020, targets federal departments, contractors, and grantees in an effort to silence meaningful conversations about race that a majority of the American public believes are needed for greater understanding and national unity. 

Race Forward continues to advance its work through its Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) program, a network of more than 250 jurisdictions who are working to advance racial equity and lift up outcomes for all groups. GARE members are committed to conducting anti-racism trainings to help public sector employees and the American people talk about and take action to address systemic racism.  These jurisdictions fall outside the EO so long as they are not federal contractors and are conducting trainings independent of federal funding. Communities seek the guidance of the GARE network to enable their employees within public institutions to discuss race in honest and truthful ways that can lead to changed policies and practices, justice and reconciliation. 

“These actions by the administration are an attack on racial justice,” said Glenn Harris, President of Race Forward. “The overwhelming majority of Americans believe that systemic racism and racial discrimination are a major problem in this country. Even so, the Trump Administration is actively working to shut down America’s growing commitment toward ending racial injustice and is simply denying that systemic racism is behind America’s racial inequities.”

Collectively, supporters of racial equity training voice support for all levels of government to address systemic racism and are calling on philanthropy, the business community, nonprofit and professional organizations across the country to explicitly address systemic racism, and commit to the advancement of racial justice in America.

“The extreme hardships of 2020 — the COVID-19 pandemic, state violence against the Black community, an environmental crisis and an economic recession — are exposing the horrifying impact of racial inequities between white people and people of color,  said Julie Nelson, Senior Vice President of Programs. “We recognize the devastating intergenerational harms of systemic racism and know that we as a nation cannot have a strong multiracial democracy without racial justice, and we cannot have racial justice without a strong multiracial democracy.”

Race Forward declares that the current administration’s push for education that erases our history is dangerously hostile toward people of color, an abuse of power, and an attempt to silence and censor discussion of and reverse progress on race equity in America. This comes on the heels of Trump calling on Americans to proclaim Columbus Day as an official national holiday, despite Native American’s seeking to change the observation to Indigenous Peoples Day



Race Forward catalyzes movement building for racial justice. In partnership with communities, organizations, and sectors, we build strategies to advance racial justice in our policies, institutions, and culture. 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 is home to the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE), a national network of local governments working to achieve racial equity and improve outcomes for all. Race Forward publishes the daily news site Colorlines and presents Facing Race, the country’s largest multiracial conference on racial justice.


Additional Information:

Webpage:  | 
Social Media: Twitter @RaceForward | Instagram @raceforward |



National Racial Justice Organizations Call For Political Parties To Center Racial Equity

August 7, 2020

As America’s political parties release their policy platforms against the backdrop of racial justice uprisings, a global pandemic, and a deepening economic recession, nine major racial justice groups, together with Professor Darrick Hamilton, call for the parties to focus on racial equity as a core principle that should shape every policy for our country.

Glenn Harris, President of Race Forward, said, “Racial equity cannot be a discrete and separate ‘issue area’ in a context where systemic racism shapes every facet of American life.  Whether the question is health care, jobs, public safety or even how democracy itself is unfolding, race today is still the central driver determining life outcomes.”

Professor Darrick Hamilton, the Henry Cohen Professor of Economics and Urban Policy and university professor at The New School, and a member of the Biden-Sanders unity task force, added, “We need to recognize that structural racism threatens our democracy and an economy grounded in shared prosperity.”

The nine organizations include Race Forward, People’s Action, the National Congress of American Indians, PolicyLink, the National Urban League, Demos, UnidosUS, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, and Rights & Democracy.

These organizations argue that political parties need racially equitable solutions that benefit us all and that are grounded in a strong racial justice framework, racially and ethnically disaggregated data, and a commitment to measure success and progress in concrete terms.

They believe that leaders of color working in impacted communities are deeply cognizant of the problems we currently face and more importantly have clear and creative solutions that could transform our society from one of division, violence, and conflict, to one where all neighborhoods and communities thrive.

“In this moment, white supremacists are trying to build power through violence and intimidation, attacking core democratic principles,” said Harris. “If political parties aspire to lead this vast multiracial and multicultural country, they have a profound obligation to commit to racial equity in their platforms, rhetoric, policy and practice.”

Read Principles for Racially Equitable Platforms.

The Butterfly Lab for Immigrant Narrative Strategy

Funded by Unbound Philanthropy,  Luminate, Oak Foundation, and Open Society Foundations, the Butterfly Lab for Immigrant Strategy is a two-year project to advance pro-immigrant narratives that recognize and honor the humanity of immigrants, and advance freedom and justice for all.

“Although pro-immigration policies have been under fire in recent years, we know that the majority of Americans are pro-immigrant. Changing the narrative is the key to winning,” said Glenn Harris, President of Race Forward.

“At a time of unprecedented readiness for radical change, every word we say, and every story we tell, matters,” said Taryn Higashi, Executive Director, and Adey Fisseha, Senior U.S. Program Officer, of Unbound Philanthropy. “Our words and our narratives can move us forward towards a pluralist society where everyone belongs, or backwards. We are thrilled to support this dynamic, superbly talented group to move us all forward. We are also delighted to partner with the brilliant team at Race Forward to nurture this cohort.”

 Beginning in June 2020, the Lab will bring together a select cohort of 16 leaders working in immigrant narrative to learn and discuss cutting edge narrative strategy and research. The leaders in the cohort are drawn from work in advocacy, the law, organizing, policy, human rights, the arts, and popular culture. 

“This cohort is incredibly diverse – from a Brooklyn-based artist from Trinidad and Tobago to a Maya Mam advocate and former political refugee from the West Highlands of Guatemala, or from a Syrian-American rapper and spoken word artist in Los Angeles to a labor organizer based in the Gulf Coast,” said Ivy Suriyopas, program officer at the Open Society Foundations.  I am excited to see how their richly varied perspectives will come together to advance a narrative that promotes a more inclusive multiracial democracy.”

Butterfly Lab cohort members will develop, test and scale immigration narratives to meet our current political moment by advancing our vision for the world we want to build. “Anti-immigrant narratives in the US have become normalized and even mainstream over the last few years,” said Alissa Black, Director, Luminate. “Luminate is glad to support the Butterfly Lab because its aim to advance accurate narratives about immigrants will better reflect the America we want to live in and will promote everyone’s inherent worth.” 

Tim Parritt, program officer for the Oak Foundation, said, “The co-crafting of culturally resonant narratives by activist leaders immersed in their immigrant communities is critical – they offer the bridge between high theory and practical implementation and are key to fulfilling a vision of a deeply connected and powerful strategic communications field infrastructure.

Cohort individuals will receive a $10,000 stipend and $10,000 for design and implementation of innovative narrative prototype projects. Cohort convenings, webinars, trainings, and strategy sessions will be all-expenses paid. In addition, the cohort prototype projects will be supported with research and impact evaluation. In year 2, a number of the projects will be selected to scale up, and the cohort’s learnings will be broadly disseminated to build capacity, skills, and knowledge within the pro-immigrant movement.

For more information, please visit Race Forward’s Butterfly Lab page.