Welcoming Jay Smooth to the ARC Team

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Applying Our Research 

The Research Department 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. Some court observers predict that this case will be a 5-4 judgment striking down the use of race in admissions as unconstitutional.

The research will contribute to Colorlines.com coverage of the decision, demonstrating the impact that previous and existing statewide bans of race-based affirmative action have had on the racial demographics of affected universities, as well as the track record and potential of alternative formulations of the policy.

The Department is also wrapping up the first stage of its partnership with the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans in co-convening a working group of researchers and representatives of community-based organizations to develop an accessible list of "Principles and Best Practices" for conducting research on and/or with the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community. Set to be released soon, the document is designed to help community-based organizations engage in productive dialogue with researchers, to prevent research that perpetuates the model minority myth, and to actively promote research that more accurately reflects the diverse experiences and perspectives in the AANHPI community.

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.

Jermaine Toney and Terry Keleher were the presenters. Toney detailed an example of a racial equity impact assessment by the Minneapolis Public Schools, thanks to the efforts of the Education Equity Organizing Collaborative, a multi-racial partnership that initiated the use of the assessment. By considering race, the school board was able to mitigate potentially harmful impacts on local Somali and Native American communities.

According to Schott’s OTL Campaign blog, “in the age of 'colorblindness,' our society at least purportedly treats everyone equally. But equal doesn't mean equitable, and unfortunately a lot of racism doesn't require people to be intentionally racist. Implicit bias (unconscious assumptions based on our society's culture and media) is enough to generate – and then fail to see or actively dismiss – disparate outcomes.”

ARC has produced a Racial Equity Impact Assessment (REIA) webinar, as well as a toolkit to help policymakers and organizers evaluate the potential effects of a proposed policy. The toolkit can be downloaded for free on the ARC site.

Colorlines.com Spotlight

"Two decades removed from record homicide rates and the city’s last race riot, these days there are few direct group confrontations with police," Jamilah King writes in her Dispatch from East Flatbush, Brooklyn, where protesters faced off with NYPD in three nights of conflict last week. "But there are many smaller ones. Day-to-day encounters on street corners, on trains, and in housing projects. Communities of color in this city have become the focus of intense daily scrutiny in every facet of their lives, and it seems like Kimani Gray’s murder was a tipping point, an outpouring of fury at a police department that has systematically encroached on the physical space of so many for so long."

Seth Freed Wessler describes a similar fraying in Muslim communities targeted by NYPD’s surveillance over the past decade. “We’ve been talking about [NYPD spying] as a civil rights issue and as a constitutional issue," Linda Sarsour, the coordinator of the Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition, told Colorlines, "without understanding that this is [also] about human beings."

Colorlines has for years explored the ways in which zero-tolerance punishment systems – policing, prisons, school discipline – 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

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 and many high-profile media appearances on NPR, CNN, MSNBC, TEDx, and others, 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.

ARC has long been committed to dynamic storytelling as an avenue for culture change, through our racial justice leadership trainings, through our Facing Race National Conference, and most visibly through our Colorlines coverage and engagement of the issues. At Colorlines, we have sought to elevate stories and voices that have been left out ("Do Cops Make Schools Safe? Students Answer"), cover lifestyle and culture ("Los Fixie Riders"), and use video reporting to cover and break news stories ("Watch Colorado Poll Watcher Report ‘High Concentration of People of Color’").

As we work to advance racial justice, we start with culture change. I just returned from South by Southwest, where we attended dozens of sessions, some of which we covered at Colorlines, and was glad to see an ever-increasing amount of content focused on race and culture. We’re looking forward to creating more exciting products in the years ahead.


Rinku Sen
President, ARC
Publisher, Colorlines.com



ARC Updates

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