History and Mission

The Institute on Race and Justice involves experts from Northeastern University’s College of Social Sciences and HumanitiesSchool of Criminology and Criminal JusticeSchool of LawDepartment of Sociology and Anthropology, and the Department of Cultures, Societies and Global Studies to examine questions on race and justice facing urban communities.  The Institute works on projects toward the goal of conducting nationally recognized research and providing leadership on race and justice issues.

The mission of the Institute is to utilize strategic social science research methodologies to assist government agencies, educational institutions, and community stakeholders in the development of policy changes to advance the cause of social justice. The Institute was founded on the premise that academic institutions can work with communities to provide rigorous and objective information that can be used to influence policy changes that advance the cause of social justice. This research model attempts to enhance scientific inquiries with the input and experiences of community stakeholders who struggle with issues of racial injustice. The coupling of community practitioners and social scientists allows practitioners access to academic input while providing academics with more current and salient ideas about and data on issues in the field.

The Institute was established through a generous start-up grant from the University in August 2001. Its accomplishments would not be possible without the support of President Richard Freeland, Provost Ahmed Abdelal, Dean Jack Greene (College of Criminal Justice), Dean Emily Spieler (School of Law), and Dean James Stellar (College of Arts and Sciences).