Mission and Strategy

The Stanford Center for Racial Justice works to counter racial division and political polarization through rigorous research and thought-provoking conversations that analyze the racial dimensions of some of the most contentious and consequential issues in American society. By doing so without fealty to any particular ideological perspective, we undermine ignorance and certainty alike, promoting a sense of inquiry and curiosity and an appreciation for a diverse range of perspectives.

Our vision is to build a society not riven by race-related polarization and inequality, one in which people appreciate the far-reaching effects of racism and its intertwining with economic inequality and recognize that overcoming those effects requires the ideas and efforts of people with diverse backgrounds, perspectives and ideologies.

We have developed a distinct model for advancing racial justice:

  • We function as a research, writing, and dissemination machine for world changing ideas.
  • We develop analyses and curate conversations that dissect some of the most consequential controversies in American society.
  • We strive to offer the best and most reliable source of insight for people who want to understand the racial dimensions of the issues that most divide our nation, and especially as those issues intersect with the dynamics of economic inequality.

Leveraging our position within Stanford University, we seek to achieve these goals through an unyielding commitment to truth, which entails unsettling knowledge and a consistent rejection of the ideological pieties of the Left or of the Right. In a society as polarized as ours, truth is too rarely pursued free of partisan bias, leaving people free to embrace only those beliefs and understandings they find congenial. Our approach is less focused on producing answers to discrete policy problems than on exemplifying and promoting a process of analysis that emphasizes the complications and nuances of fraught issues.

By rigorously exploring, challenging, and reimagining the intricate ideas behind, solutions to, and complexities of racial inequality, we will transform and redefine not just the research, action, and impact but also the conversations needed to truly advance racial justice in America.