Race Forward Toolbox


Rinku's Message: A hot summer of race news—Moral Mondays to preserve voting rights in North Carolina, the efforts of the Dream 9 to expose the vagaries of our immigration policy, and those of the Dream Defenders to undo Florida’s Stand Your Ground law—have led many to speculate on whether we are at the start of a new civil rights movement.
We are definitely at the brink of something. I hope that it is a racial justice movement, one that builds on the legacy of civil rights while bringing crucial new elements to our political and social lives.
  • Network: We now can easily express our political views with a few clicks of our keyboards and touchscreens, by signing on, sharing, donating, reposting and retreating. But thinking that we can click our way to the Promised Land is “pie in the sky.” Indeed, our online activity needs to complement our “boots on the ground.” 
  • Colorlines: This summer, young activists across the country have put themselves on the line. From Moral Mondays to the Dream Defenders, the Dream 9 to the Million Hoodies March, a new wave of direct action is coming to the forefront. In the run up to last week’s March on Washington commemoration, Colorlines contributor Dani McClain asked these young organizers what’s driving them and their high-stakes engagements.


Rinku's Message: The verdict in George Zimmerman's trial caused the kind of existential crisis that my optimistic nature is usually able to fend off. In these weeks I have come to understand just how much light exists between the basic assumptions of the racial justice movement and those of most white Americans. A Pew study conducted last week revealed a huge gap between black and white attitudes on the verdict, with only 30% of whites compared to 84% of blacks dissatisfied with the ruling. To figure that out, we need to delve into the complicated relationship between explicit racism, unconscious bias, policymaking and culture.
  • Network: When institutions and their power-holders have no mechanisms to check their bias, the default mode is to operate with racial bias. We need to focus far more attention on implicit institutional bias. And we must commit to employ more tools, strategies and protocols to systematically counteract institutional bias and to consciously create equity.
  • Colorlines: We cover a lot of ground at Colorlines, but for any daily news outlet there are stories that rise above the churn and become definitive. The murder of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman’s subsequent acquittal are such events. Covering them well has demanded going beyond a recitation of the facts. Rather, it demands wrestling with truths, and exploring the contexts that shape those truths.
  • Research: Much of the research accessible to the mainstream media reflects unconscious biases about Asian American & Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander communities as a hard-working, high-achieving “model minority.” Such stereotypes render the true experiences of systemic racism for millions of AA & NHPI individuals virtually invisible in the public discourse. ARC and NCAPA have created a “principles and best practices” guide to responsibly conducting research within the AA & NHPI communities.


Melinda's Message: Recently, I participated in an amazing gathering of leaders across the nation who are passionately creating a blueprint to advance a multifaith movement for justice. One of our sessions, “Healthy Ecosystems”, prompted us to examine nature’s way of organizing and by analogy, to evaluate how the justice work of various faith communities and institutions compare. For example, do we see resilience, capacity for adaptation, creative innovation, and vibrant abundance? Such are the characteristics of healthy ecosystems, and also of healthy social movements.
  • Colorlines: Jorge Rivas has been part of the DNA of our community since its digital inception. He now joins one of the most buzzed about projects in news media – Fusion, a joint launch of ABC News and Univision. We also welcome home Aura Bogado. Aura helped lead our Voting Rights Watch project, and now she’s joining the team as a news editor and reporter, and we’re thrilled to bring her voice to the site daily.
  • Research: The release of ARC’s Better Together in the South – the third in our series exploring the intersection of racial justice and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights and liberation – provides us with an occasion to review three research tips that guide our collection of data on topics of racial and social justice.
  • Network: Behind the Kitchen Door, by Saru Jayaraman, Co-Director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, explores how poor working conditions affect the meals at our restaurant tables. For more food for thought, ARC has compiled a companion Discussion Guide to go with the book, organized around themes such as race and gender discrimination, food justice and sustainability, immigrant rights and workers rights.


Rinku's Message: It turns out that it’s easy to be happy if I dwell in sufficiency. I used to feel the lack of things more than I felt their presence, which paradoxically brings more lack than anything else. I’m more likely to focus on solutions when I can see the assets, time, people, money and skills we do have, rather than only what we don’t. It takes some discipline not to slide into scarcity mode, but the notion of scarcity itself is so central to racial discrimination that living in it seems inconsistent with ARC’s, and my, mission.
  • Research: When reporting data on "Asian Americans", it's critical for researchers to be transparent about exactly which national-origin groups are included in the figures. It’s even more important for us to strive to be as inclusive as possible when collecting and reporting data on this incredibly diverse population.
  • Network: When ARC conducts trainings on framing issues and storytelling, as we have on several recent occasions, we recognize that words pack a lot of punch. But the power of words is only as strong as the people behind them. We need to combine powerful language with organized people and strategic action. Otherwise, our words, however carefully crafted or eloquently spoken, will fall by the wayside.


Facing Race is coming to Dallas, TX from November 13-15, 2014

Facing Race is the largest national, multi-racial gathering of leaders, educators, journalists, artists, and activists on racial justice. Over 1,400 of you joined us in Baltimore as we reflected on 30 years of racial justice work and strategized for the future. We came away inspired by your energy, insights, and passion. We're looking forward to 2014 already!

We are very excited to announce that the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at the Ohio State University will be joining as a central partner in Facing Race 2014. The merger of Facing Race with Kirwan's own Transforming Race conference allows us to provide an even better Facing Race to our shared community.


President's Message: Three weeks ago, we sent you a special alert that the Associated Press (AP) had announced it was taking “i______ immigrant” out of its stylebook and would no longer sanction use of the term. One week later, USA Today made the same announcement. It would be so easy, now, to claim a victory and move on. But you and I both know that we are still far from having stopped the use of the i-word in U.S. culture and journalism.
  • Network News: ARC was recently featured in the blog of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. Pat Brandes of the Barr Foundation wrote a blog post which discussed ways to address persistent racial gaps from a philanthropic perspective. 
  • Colorlines Spotlight: On April 21, our editorial team emerged from its weekly planning meeting ready for a busy week. A few hours later, a bomb exploded at the Boston Marathon. Over the ensuing days, our colleagues in the old and new media alike demonstrated journalism both at its best--and at its worst.
  • Applying Our Research: ARC continues its search to fill a senior research associate position with a highly qualified, committed and engaging individual, who would work from the Oakland, CA office, or remotely in the Southern United States.


President's Message: Today I'm excited to announce the newest addition to the ARC team: Jay Smooth. As a trailblazing radio host on WBAI's "Underground Railroad," and acclaimed cultural commentator through his Ill Doctrine video series, Jay has been one of the most accessible voices for 20 years on race and culture. We are thrilled to welcome him as ARC's Video & Multimedia Producer, to develop our multimedia strategies and produce exciting work to engage people on racial justice issues.
  • Applying Our Research: ARC is working with undergraduate students from the University of California, Berkeley to gather data and research on college admissions policies nationwide, in anticipation of the Supreme Court's forthcoming affirmative action decision in the Fisher v. Texas case.
  • Network News: ARC recently presented a webinar on Racial Equity Impact Assessments to the grantees of our long-time partner, the Schott Foundation for Public Education’s Opportunity to Learn Campaign. The webinar focused on how to identify, remedy, and prevent disparities in education policy.
  • Colorlines.com Spotlight: Colorlines has for years explored the ways in which zero-tolerance punishment systems target communities of color with perverse justice. In the coming months, we'll pay special attention to the human toll these systems have taken in our neighborhoods, families, and lives.


President's Message: Nothing is more central to shifting the race discourse than how the United States treats immigrants and their families. Our Shattered Families and Drop the I-Word projects allowed ARC to do the best of what we’d always done (reveal the racial impact of policies through hard data) and try something new (change the language of the immigration debate).
  • Applying Our Research: ARC is conducting an anonymous survey of scholars and educators to assist us with the development of a prospective "Resources for Educators" section of our website. Please help us gather valuable input by taking this 10-12 minute survey.
  • Network News: ARC, in partnership with Southerners on New Ground (SONG), has launched a new leadership program to foster collaboration and innovation around the themes of intersectionality, unity and visibility, and to bridge LGBTQ equity with racial justice.
  • Colorlines.com Spotlight: This month we're thrilled to announce we’ve added some new muscle. Akiba Solomon, who has written our Gender Matters column for two years, is stepping into a new leadership role as Colorlines’ Managing Editor.


President's Message: My vision for the struggle for racial justice is one of excess: an excess of courage, an excess of hope, an excess of resources. You already showed us how this vision can come true by showing up in record numbers at Facing Race. Can you also make this vision a reality by donating to our “$30K in 30 Days” fundraising campaign? With your support we know we can exceed our wildest dreams and make racial justice a household term.
  • Applying Our Research: The Research Department expects to expand its work in the South, and would welcome applications for the Senior Research Associate position from individuals with professional histories and relationships in that region of the country. 
  • Network News: Racial equity requires leadership. And leadership requires clarity and connections, vision and values, and skills and strategies. ARC’s racial justice trainings are designed to provide innovative and practical tools that equip all kinds of people to be equity leaders. 
  • Colorlines.com Spotlight: The election's over, voters of color have convinced the political class that we're not going away, and conversations about how to leverage that power toward real change are already buzzing. 
  • Organizational Updates: Enjoy highlights of the Facing Race plenaries and keynote with video clips on Colorlines.com.


President's Message: To all of our individual supporters over the last 30 years, know that we are grateful, that we consider your trust a sacred gift, and that we work hard every day to make sure you don’t regret sharing your resources here.


  • Applying Our Research: At Facing Race, report author Seth Wessler will moderate a session entitled "Shattered Families: Racial Justice and Prospects for Systemic Change", which will explore child welfare practices in communities of color. 
  • Network News: In a new essay for the Cricial Issues Forum, Terry Keleher includes a comparison of organizing without vs. with a racial equity framework, along with a set of criteria for identifying and assessing racial equity practices.
  • Colorlines.com Spotlight: Join us on Election Night, as Brentin Mock, Aura Bogado and our team of community journalists fan out to key states to watch what happens at the polls. 
  • Organizational Updates: 2012 Facing Race National Conference Registration is almost full for our November conference! www.arc.org/facingrace



President's Message: It’s hard to believe that ARC turns 30 this year! I find myself thinking about all that we’ve done and learned and how to carry it forward in the fight for racial justice. When ARC was established, it was intended to have a broad social justice focus. But the demand from organizers that would help them deal with the racial questions plaguing their efforts was too huge to ignore, and so we became a racial justice think tank with a vigorous orientation toward action.
  • Applying Our Research: ARC Senior Researcher Yvonne Liu recently penned a profile of urban farmer LaDonna Redmond, which quickly garnered the attention of the Melissa Harris Perry show.
  • Network News: ARC offers racial justice trainings and consultations that emphasize practical strategies and viable solutions. In addition, our popular racial justice webinar series can be accessed online.
  • Colorlines.com Spotlight: Colorlines publisher Rinku Sen has written an overview and analysis outlining how the policy fight has fallen short, while cultural work is humanizing immigrants and offering hope
  • Organizational Updates: 2012 Facing Race National Conference It's only two months until Facing Race begins. Don't miss out on the racial justice conversation. Register now!


President's Message: Few books have affected me like Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, Manning Marable’s final gift to the social justice movements he loved so much. The book takes us through Malcolm X’s quest for a spiritual home in which he could be as human as he knew how to be.
  • Applying Our Research: ARC’s Senior Researcher Yvonne Yen Liu will present findings from the Good Food and Good Jobs report at two upcoming gatherings.
  • Network News: ARC’s racial justice leadership training program has been working with groups across the country. In addition, Nayantara Sen has joined ARC’s racial justice training team.
  • Colorlines.com Spotlight: Electoral reporting has heated up with an investigation on True the Vote from Brentin Mock and dispatches from Aura Bogado on the UndocuBus.
  • Organizational Updates: Vendor Opportunities are available at Facing Race! Take advantage of this incredible opportunity for you to connect with a diverse and engaged audience. 
  • Update from South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT): After the tragic shooting at Oak Creek, SAALT has been working with our partners to raise awareness about the context of bias.


President's Message:
Sonia Peña has been our Associate Director for 11 years. Her presence allowed us to meet our deadlines, pay our bills, plan our future and resolve our conflicts. She provides that steadiness without which no political organization can function well. This is my chance to say it in as public a manner as Sonia will allow: thank you for your service, good luck in the future, and we will miss you very much.
  • Applying Our Research: The "Millennials, Activism, and Race" report examines the attitudes and experiences of Occupy participants and other progressive young people. 
  • Network News: "Better Together in Action: Organizations Working to Integrate Racial Justice and LGBT Issues" tells the stories of remarkable, intersectional organizations. 
  • Colorlines.com Spotlight: As the nation celebrates Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride, News Editor Jamilah King profiles LGBT leaders in the South and Midwest. 
  • Organizational Updates: New plenary speakers have been announced for the 2012 Facing Race Conference.


President's Message: My key message to new graduates, and to everyone committed to racial justice, is to safekeep and maintain their enthusiasm for this vital work. There's plenty to do intellectually and physically, but there's a strong emotional element to this work that young people pursuing structural solutions need to understand too in order to stay engaged. 

  • Applying Our Research: The "Shattered Families" investigation has had an enormous impact.
  • Network News: ARC’s trainings provide skills & strategies for addressing structural racism.
  • Colorlines.com Spotlight: Colorlines shapes a more meaningful conversation about LGBT rights. 
  • Organizational Updates: The deadline for Executive Assistant applications has been extended.



President's Message: While getting to produce quality journalism that keeps racial justice issues in the media is reward in itself, it's nice to be recognized for our efforts. I'm happy to announce that Colorlines.com has just received several notable awards. Colorlines.com coverage has garned a Hillman Prize, been named a Webby honoree, and been honored at the Independent Press Awards.
  • Applying Our Research: ARC deepens research released last year on Millennials and Food Justice.
  • Network News: ARC continues to offer accessible training in our Racial Justice Webinar Series.
  • Colorlines.com Spotlight: Colorlines and The Nation are partnering on voting rights coverage all year.
  • Organizational Updates: ARC is hiring two positions in the NYC office.


On April 2, Melinda Weekes will be joining the staff as our new Managing Director, and the staff and board couldn’t be happier. As ARC celebrates 30 years in the racial justice movement, the addition of Melinda to our team will help us expand our work in media, research, leadership training, research, and solutions-focused events. 
  • Applying Our Research: ARC is holding focus groups on young progressives and participants in the Occupy movement around the country
  • Network News: Racial Equity Policy Network organizations release new legislative report cards
  • Colorlines.com Spotlight: Launch of breaking news blog Colorlines.com/NOW & editorial team in media
  • Org Updates: Tumblr blog for Trayvon collects stories of racial profiling. Early Bird deadline March 31 to register for 2012 Facing Race National Conference.


PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE: Thanks to more than 20,000 people who signed a petition, driven by the Applied Research Center and Presente.org, one father has a chance to be reunified with his children.

  • Applying Our Research: ARC's research department is working on the challenges and potential for cross-sector collaboration in the “good food” and “good jobs” movements.
  • Network News: Drop the I-Word campaign supporters took action, and The New York Times crossword puzzle editor apologized and said he will not use the i-word again.
  • Colorlines.com Spotlight: Julianne Hing covers parent efforts in the education reform debates
  • Org Updates: Register today for 2012 Facing Race National Conference, November 15-17 in Baltimore, Maryland with Pulitzer Prize-winner Junot Díaz keynote speaker.


PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE: As we head towards the presidential election, I am keeping three imperatives in mind: First, avoid the temptations of triumphalism. Second, put an explicit racial analysis front and center in national debates. Third, fight like hell.

  • Applying Our Research: We're in the planning stage for the 2012 phase of our Millennials Project
  • Network News: ARC workshop for the Occupy Movement on "Organizing with a Racial Justice Framework"
  • Colorlines.com Spotlight:  "How to Be a Racial Justice Hero, on MLK Day and All Year Long."
  • Org Updates: Jobs,internships, social justice fellowships


    toolbox_signup_square.jpg PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
    - In 2011 ARC released “Don't Call Them Post-Racial” report on millennials, helped hundreds of activists craft and implement new racial equity plans, broke a major story on "Shattered Families" at the intersection of the child welfare and immigration enforcement systems, which generated multiple investigative reports across the nation and a response from President Obama himself.


      - If you’ve ever experienced an “aha!” while attending an ARC training, shared the Daily Love on Facebook, or appreciated our attention to often-ignored issues, please drop what you can into our bucket. Whether you give $5 or $500, your gift will have a very real effect on our work.
      • Applying Our Research: "Shattered Families" webinar 
      • Network News: Facing Race 2012 conference proposals due
      • Colorlines.com Spotlight: “Changing the Conversation on Race" webinar 
      • Org Updates: Hiring Managing Director! Women of Color Policy Network's Engage2012