Commitment to Racial Equity

The Center for the Study of Social Policy works to achieve a racially, economically, and socially just society.

While we have made strides towards equality in our nation, the reality is that many do not share equitable access to basic opportunities and supports. People of color are still harmed by racist beliefs, policies, and practices that oppress rather than uplift.

To change this, we work to transform systems and communities by developing and implementing policies and practices, promote justice, ensure equity, and eliminate structural bias. Our ultimate goal is to support all families and young people so that they can thrive.

Our Vision

When our work is successful, equity and justice will be prevalent throughout our nation’s systems and communities. Equitable practices and policies will be in place that allow full access to the opportunities and supports needed so that all children, youth, and families can thrive. Working in partnership with communities and systems, we will ensure that disparities and racist practices that are rooted in the past are eliminated in the present and guarded against in the future.

The Challenges We Face

Our nation’s systems that serve youth and families are rooted in assumptions of privilege and historically racist actions and beliefs, and were not designed to create an equitable environment.

Despite well-intentioned efforts to change this, decades of inherently racist practices have created grave disparities. Whether conscious or unconscious, intentional or unintentional—these practices continue to harm children, youth, and families of color, as well as immigrants, people who identify as LBGTQ+ or gender non-conforming, and those with disabilities.

To achieve a just and equitable society, there is an urgent need to change this, and that’s what we’re working to accomplish.

Our Approach

CSSP promotes policies and practices that uphold justice and promote equity, dismantle racist assumptions and unfair practices, confirm equal value, and transform our systems and communities, so all families, children, and young people can thrive.

Our Work Over Time

While racial equity has recently become part of essential conversations around the nation, it has been a foundational part of our work for decades. And while our interests have only now begun to take full root, in 1987 we produced one of the first analysis of the limited opportunities facing African American males—calling attention to the systemic barriers in health care, employment, and education that blocked their progress.

That early work set the stage for what eventually turned into a defining organizational commitment to close equity gaps, expose the root causes of disparate outcomes for children and families of color involved in child welfare and juvenile justice systems across the country, and begin the real work of identifying as an anti-racist organization.

This process has given us the opportunity to sit fully in our commitment and begin to embrace and implement real change.

Learn more about our journey to becoming an anti-racist, equity-centered organization in our publication, Moving Forward Together.