Black Americans are much more likely than White Americans to live near freeways, factories, and other heavy air polluters. That's not a failure of public policy; it's a result of it.

Even long after openly racist policies like neighborhood redlining were struck down or scratched out, the disparities they set in motion continue to shape American life with clockwork precision. RAND is by no means the first research organization to recognize that serving the public good requires tackling the factors that contribute to those disparities head-on.

That has become an explicit focus at RAND—not just identifying disparities, but breaking them down and taking apart the mechanisms on which they run. “We're on a journey,” said Anita Chandra, vice president and director of RAND Social and Economic Well-Being. “We're trying to meet the moment, but we're also trying to meet the momentum.”

She sees a historic opportunity for research organizations like RAND to bring together policymakers, charitable foundations, and local communities around issues of racial equity and justice. “It's time for us all to take a leap forward,” she said.

Several current research projects provide a look at what RAND hopes to add to the national conversation. Funded by gifts from RAND supporters, these projects focus on issues ranging from mass incarceration to anti-Asian violence to the toxic legacy of those old red lines.

Read the full article about applying a racial equity lens to research by Doug Irving at RAND Corporation.