Applied Research Center ARC

a public policy research institute – racial justice through media, redearch and activism

Our Mission: The Applied Research Center (ARC) is a racial justice think tank and home for media and activism.  ARC is built on rigorous research and creative use of new technology.  Our goal is to popularize the need for racial justice and prepare people to fight for it.  By telling the stories of everyday people, ARC is a voice for unity and fairness in the structures that affect our lives … (about 1/2).

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About 2/2: … CONFLICT AT THE COLOR LINE: America’s racial fault lines run deep, and our racial identities and culture impact our political views.

The Applied Research Center (ARC) understands that pressing political conflicts demand a serious treatment of racial equity that addresses both a history of injustice and contemporary problems. We see structural racism, and demand concrete change from our most powerful institutions to build a fair and equal society.

At ARC, we recognize that racism deeply affects individuals and their life chances, but we also know that racism rarely works through individuals.  As long as the systems, structures and unconscious motivations that shape racism are obscured, racism itself will remain embedded in the fabric of society and transcend even our best individual intentions. To fight structural racism, we must be able to document it, promote equity theories, stimulate discussion and highlight real solutions. We value alliances and coalitions in bringing about change and we unify sectors of the movement that should be working cooperatively.

SHARED VALUES, NEW VISION

ARC believes that:

  • Racial justice is key to social justice.
  • People have the capacity to learn, grow, and change.
  • Popular culture, as well as the rich diversity of cultures, can shape and advance equity.
  • Racial justice benefits everyone, and even white people have a stake in it.
  • We must invest in the leadership of young people to sustain a long-lasting racial justice movement.
  • Mobilizing a diverse range of political and cultural resources is crucial to advancing racial justice values.
  • Political transparency, genuine partnerships, and high expectations will help further racial justice.
  • Racial justice IS possible to achieve.

RACIAL JUSTICE IN THE 21ST CENTURY

ARC envisions a world where people can attain their full potential, free from racism, war, poverty, sexism, environmental degradation and other forms of oppression.

Our goal is to change the way society talks about and understands racial inequity.  Modern movements require modern solutions that match the complexity of the problem. ARC’s strategic framework for advancing racial justice includes:

  • Focusing on structural racism and systemic inequality rather than simply personal prejudice.
  • Focusing on impacts rather than intentions.
  • Addressing racial inequality explicitly but not necessarily exclusively.
  • Proposing solutions that emphasize equity and inclusion rather than diversity.
  • Developing strategies to empower stakeholders and target institutional powerholders.
  • Making racial justice a high priority in all social justice efforts.

Taking the movement into the 21st century requires us to update both ideas and tactics.  We speak to people’s deepest values and use media and technology to tell new stories, build our constituency, and shape government and private institutions.

WHAT WE DO

FOUNDED IN 1981, ARC investigates the hidden racial consequences of public policy initiatives and develops new frameworks to resolve racially charged debates. With offices in New York, Chicago, and Oakland, we have three programs that serve these ends: Media and Journalism, Strategic Research and Policy Analysis, and the Racial Justice Leadership Action Network.

We use Media and Journalism to deliver stories that are not reported elsewhere, move people to action in support of racial equity, and push a society silenced by guilt and confusion toward concrete discussions of racial justice in the 21st century.  Through Strategic Research and Policy Analysis, we expose structural inequities by conducting both quantitative and qualitative research; produce reliable, relevant and accessible reports and interactive tools that help researchers, activists and policymakers take next steps; and build the analytical foundation for racial justice campaigns across the nation.  Finally, ARC’s Racial Justice Leadership Action Network trains a new cadre of journalists, community organizers and elected officials, through popular education, convenings, and mobilized action, to make these solutions real. ARC’s bi-annual Facing Race Conference has become the national convening of organizers, activists, and intellectuals on race and politics.

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