Projects and Papers
The Institute on Race, Power and Political Economy conducts research to shed light on the structures of inequality and develop knowledge about the pivotal roles of race, power, and social stratification. Building relationships beyond the academy, institute researchers work to identify, implement, and scale transformative ideas to promote economic inclusion, civic empowerment, and social equity. The Institute also works to foster the next generation of scholars bringing diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and new thinking to society’s biggest challenges.
Baby Bonds are a policy proposal aimed at addressing wealth inequality and promoting economic mobility. Developed and championed by Founding Director Darrick Hamilton, the concept of Baby Bonds is designed to narrow the racial wealth gap and provide pathways for wealth building for all children, regardless of economic circumstances at birth. Explore a host of resources about Baby Bonds, including our 2022 report with Prosperity Now, A Brighter Future with Baby Bonds: How States and Cities Should Invest in Our Kids, which presents frameworks for states and localities to design and implement Baby Bonds.
In response to the federal government’s executive order advancing racial equity, Institute founding director Darrick Hamilton and Andre Perry of the Brookings Institution called on the federal government to develop a scoring system that measures the potential impacts of proposed policies on racial equity. Following this call to action, our organizations partnered to produce research that contributes to the development of equity assessment and scoring frameworks that can be implemented at the local, state, and federal levels.
New Imperatives in American Learning, Civic Education & Employment Equity
Advancing the Common Good Through Expanded Racial & Economic Justice
This project is a multimedia series of conversations and examinations intended to assess the need for new approaches to American human capital formation and community building. We examine these important topics with an eye to their racial and economic justice dimensions. This work is essential to strengthen our democracy and to promote more equitable economic development and prosperity sharing across the nation at a time of growing racial and economic division. We focus aspirationally on the need to advance a next generation of racial and economic justice reforms, building on more inclusive modalities of education and training, community engagement, and allied efforts to better align our nation’s largely disconnected systems of public instruction, civics education, and workforce preparation.
Shifting the Burden of Proof: Using Audit Testing to Proactively Root Out Workplace Discrimination
A new report released in September 2022 recommends the use of audit testing, a tool that can proactively identify discrimination in the hiring process, by public agencies at all levels aiming to combat employment discrimination. The report, produced jointly by the Institute on Race, Power and Political Economy at The New School and the National Employment Law Project, argues that such audits, performed on a systematic basis, could be relatively easily and inexpensively administered in virtually every sector of the U.S. economy. Almost 50 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, race-based employment discrimination persists, which is why the report authors call for a more proactive approach to advance racial equity in workplaces.
Advancing Racial Equity Through the American Rescue Plan Act
Recognizing the potential for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) fiscal recovery funding to address long-standing inequities, the Institute on Race, Power and Political Economy at The New School and PolicyLink partnered to examine whether and how cities and counties are prioritizing equity in their decisionmaking and making equity-promoting investments. The Institute continues to document and disseminate best practices, examples, and lessons learned from the local ARPA experience - producing important tools and insights to inform equitable policy making locally.
Guaranteed Income for the 21st Century
A research briefing on the new white paper released by economists Naomi Zewde, Darrick Hamilton, and colleagues proposing a national guaranteed income. Building on a proposal endorsed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., their guaranteed income proposal is designed to abolish poverty in the United States and lift the incomes of tens of millions of Americans. Policies for Action Guaranteed Income Research Hub supported this paper.
The Color of Wealth: The Destruction of Greenwood and Tulsa's Legacy of Loss
The report, released in December 2021, is from the Institute on Race, Power and Political Economy at The New School and the Justice for Greenwood Foundation, Inc., and was written by Ofronama Biu, Grieve Chelwa, Christopher Famighetti, Lynn Paramore, Kate Richey, Damario Solomon-Simmons, and Darrick Hamilton.
The findings in this report are primarily from the National Asset Scorecard for Communities of Color (NASCC) survey and reveal major disparities in wealth accumulation between various racial, ethnic, and tribal groups in the Tulsa Metropolitan Statistical Area. The report includes an appendix letter from Christy Finsel (Osage), executive director of the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc. (ONAC).
The Advance Executive Summary, released in June 2021, is from the Institute on Race, Power and Political Economy at The New School and the Justice for Greenwood Foundation, Inc., and was written by Ofronama Biu, Grieve Chelwa, Christopher Famighetti, Kate Richey, Damario Solomon-Simmons, and Darrick Hamilton.
This research brief summarizes findings in The Color of Wealth in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in solemn commemoration of the Tulsa Race Massacre. It focuses on the disparities in wealth between Black and white households in the Tulsa, Oklahoma, Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Building an Equitable Recovery: The Role of Race, Labor Markets, and Education
A research paper to be released in February 2021 by Darrick Hamilton, Ofronama Biu, Christopher Famighetti, Avi Green, Kyle Strickland, and David Wilcox, sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Color of Wealth in Chicago
A project to map, understand, and analyze the racial wealth gap in Chicago, the nation’s third-largest city. The research team included Suparna Bhaskaran, Kilolo Kijakazi, Darrick Hamilton, Ana Patricia Muñoz, Ellen Marks, Ofronoma Biu, Christopher Famighetti, and Fatimah al-Khaldi. Sponsored by the Chicago Community Trust, JP Morgan Chase, the Kresge Foundation, and the Polk Brothers Foundation.
Towards an Inclusive Economic Rights Agenda
This project aims to build a learning community and develop innovative ideas and new analyses to advance an economy that benefits all. Team information includes Darrick Hamilton, Grieve Chelwa, and Avi Green. Sponsored by the Kresge Foundation.
Policies for Action Guaranteed Income Research Hub
Building on the Institute on Race, Power, and Political Economy’s Guaranteed Income federal policy proposal, the Institute is producing and seeding research that facilitates the movement for guaranteed income as an economic right and a medium through which policymakers can abolish poverty in the United States. In partnership with Economic Security Project, PolicyLink, and Liberation in a Generation, the Policies for Action Guaranteed Income Research Hub is building a positive narrative about unrestricted cash supports, and equipping policymakers and grassroots advocates with ideas, evidence, and tools to design, demand, and deliver equitable policies. Publications related to this project are forthcoming.
United Nations & The Institute Partnership For a Human Rights Economy
In August 2022, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Institute announced a global partnership to advance scholarship and economic policy-making towards achieving human rights.
The new “Partnership For a Human Rights Economy” is seeded in a common conviction that economic, social and cultural rights, including the rights to health, education, social security and decent work including a living wage and labor rights, are core to an inclusive economic model.