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Social policy research has entered a dynamic new era in the pursuit of equity. Researchers are harnessing data across disciplines and policy areas; disentangling the effects of race, class, and gender; and shifting from documenting racial and ethnic disparities to exposing injustices and informing solutions. Drawing on expertise and creativity from across the Urban Institute’s 11 policy centers, the Office of Race and Equity Research is an innovation hub at the leading edge of this new era.
The office provides research, advisory services, thought partnership, and technical assistance for a wide range of changemakers, including front-line practitioners, advocacy partners, and public officials at all levels of government. We also develop catalytic initiatives and build capacity at Urban and across the field for race and equity research that meets high standards for excellence, accessibility, and policy relevance. To ensure the impact and relevance of our work, the office forges partnerships with research teams and communities to elevate lived experience as a vital source of knowledge and authority; draws on innovations in data science to measure equity, design more equitable policies, and evaluate their impact; and holds institutions accountable for achieving equity goals.
In all our efforts, the Office of Race and Equity Research seeks to remedy structural inequities and foster prosperity and opportunity for all people.
For more information about the Office of Race and Equity Research’s work, contact us at [email protected].
What We Do
In-depth research, data analytics, and tool development
We tap the data and analytic power across Urban to operate a policy research and practice hub. The Office of Race and Equity Research conducts research projects and analytic engagements together with government and philanthropic partners. Our experts measure and evaluate efforts to narrow equity gaps, deploy cutting-edge methods in data science and community engagement, and develop mixed-methods approaches that address the structural drivers of racial disparities. The office manages and hosts catalytic initiatives such as the Racial Equity Analytics Lab, which develops data tools and analyses to help embed equity considerations in practice and decisionmaking. We also host Urban’s Equity Scholars Program and Disability Equity Policy Initiative, and we are exploring other initiatives that cross issue areas and disciplines.
Advising and thought partnership
The Office of Race and Equity Research is a resource for Urban research teams and external partners seeking to advance equity goals in their work. We help colleagues and partners identify opportunities to inform equity-advancing changes in policy and practice, and design data visualization products and outreach strategies that equip equity-focused changemakers with actionable data and evidence. Across our advising work, we leverage extensive relationships in the equity analytics field and offer referrals to relevant experts at Urban and other policy research organizations.
Capacity building and technical assistance
Drawing on Urban’s core areas of expertise and emerging work on race and equity, the Office of Race and Equity Research develops frameworks, tools, resources, and peer learning opportunities to support scholars and institutions in adopting race and equity–focused work. We are also a resource hub for Urban’s Race and Equity Framework and host Urban’s Structural Racism Project and other efforts that help colleagues develop race-conscious work and consider multiple dimensions of equity.