Around the world and across the United States, unjust social stratification harms individuals and communities. To Black people and other people of color, to women, to immigrants, to Indigenous peoples, and to many others with social identities deemed different from socially defined dominant groups, society offers reduced wealth, increased discrimination, more violence, inadequate healthcare, fewer protections, and less economic, cultural, and political power. Social stratification and related belief systems — starting with race, racism, and racial resentment — prevent humane, just, moral decision making. They deter investments in common goods. They threaten democracy itself.

Inequalities that have formed over centuries cannot be undone with small ideas. Structural problems can only be solved with transformational ideas grounded in rigorous research. The Institute on Race, Power and Political Economy advances research to understand structural inequalities and works to identify groundbreaking ways to promote equity. A premier cross-disciplinary hub, the Institute draws on faculty across The New School in New York City, which has long fostered innovative thinking about power, structure, design, politics, economics, and society. The Institute engages with researchers and practitioners, including community and business leaders, policymakers, philanthropists, and journalists across the nation and around the world. Read more >>


Baby Bonds

Baby Bonds are an increasingly popular government policy in which every child born into poverty receives a publicly funded trust account at birth, providing them with “start-up capital” to pursue fulfilling, productive, prosperous, and self-directed lives.

Follow our Baby Blogs series to learn about the vision, politics, and people behind Baby Bonds and their transformative impact on the lives of young people, their families, and communities.

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Direct Cash Payments

Institute Senior Fellow Chris Hughes and co-authors Darrick Hamilton and Naomi Zewde propose a new, nationwide program of monthly cash payments that would automatically begin when economic indicators signal a recession and continue until the national unemployment rate begins to decrease. Building upon the successful pandemic direct cash payments which dramatically decreased poverty, this policy would provide automatic, monthly payments to working-class families at the first sign of recession, staving off unemployment and stabilizing families and the American economy.
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Our Partners

We are grateful to the organizations below, which have generously provided financial support to the Institute and its research:

  • Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Inc.
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Brookings
  • Carnegie Corporation of New York
  • Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation
  • Ford Foundation
  • Japanese Community Youth Council & San Francisco Human Rights Commission
  • JP Morgan Chase Foundation
  • Marguerite Casey Foundation
  • National Urban League
  • Omidyar Network
  • Open Society Foundation
  • Policy Link
  • Polk Bros. Foundation
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Robin Hood
  • Rockefeller Brothers Fund
  • The California Endowment
  • The Chicago Community Trust
  • The Kresge Foundation
  • The Rockefeller Foundation
  • The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • Wellspring Philanthropic Fund