New priority on Race, Justice, and Equity

Aug 29, 2020; Erie, PA, USA; Erie Equal founder Andrey Rosado, center, leads protesters as they march past Erie City Hall during the We Will Not Stay Silent rally on Aug. 29, 2020. The rally, organized by Erie Equal, was in response to the social unrest and violence in Kenosha, Wisconsin and other cites across the country. Mandatory Credit: Jack Hanrahan/Erie Times-News-USA TODAY NETWORK

Today, I am pleased to announce a new Brookings priority entitled Race, Justice, and Equity. This Institution-wide effort marks Brookings’s public commitment to equity and to making a tangible commitment to combat biased policies and practices that have perpetuated injustice in America. This includes but is not necessarily limited to criminal justice, domestic terrorism, economic policy, housing, education, financial services, technology, voting rights, employment, and immigration.

This priority will invest in and build upon our influential work across the Institution on race, justice, and equity. Its initial emphasis will be on structural racism, sending a strong signal to the world that Brookings is committed to making Black lives matter. Much of this work falls under the aegis of our Race, Prosperity, and Inclusion Initiative (RPII), directed by Camille Busette. I’ll continue to work with her, along with Nicol Turner LeeMakada Henry-Nickie, Andre Perry, and Rashawn Ray to stand up the research agenda with the support of an initial investment from philanthropic and institutional sources.  As our scholars continue to fundraise for their work, it will be a high priority for me and Brookings Development to amplify their efforts. The scale and scope of these efforts will expand as we secure additional funding.

As I said in May of this year, “Brookings now, and in the future, will serve as a beacon of light on behalf of social justice and opportunity for every Black American, and a loud voice of condemnation of the bigotry and racism on full display by these latest acts, but more broadly characteristic of American society.” Given the historical and continuing legacy of racism and racially-motivated violence in this country, it is my sincere hope that this new Brookings effort on Race, Justice, and Equity will allow us to accelerate and grow Brookings’s impact on a diverse set of societal problems.