Institute on Race and Justice (IRJ)

Director:Jack McDevitt Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, College of Social Sciences and Humanities

This interdisciplinary research institute combines faculty and professional staff from the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, the School of Law and the College of Arts, Media and Design. At the forefront of the national dialogue about race and social policy, the Institute engages in research that examines the influence of race on important questions of social justice and the structural causes of racial injustice.

The Institute’s six faculty and research associates from criminal justice, law, sociology and anthropology, education, and African-American studies focus on understanding the connections among individual bias, institutional policies and disparate treatment in the criminal justice and education systems. Research areas include racial disparities in criminal sentencing, jury selection, and school expulsions; urban school safety and discipline; racial profiling; and hate crimes.

The Institute has developed a community advisory board whose 15 members have public policy expertise in criminal justice and education; this board assists in developing a significant social justice research agenda and incorporates community perspective in the research process. The Institute has received funding from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety to be the academic institution to conduct its statewide racial profiling data analysis; the Attorney General of Rhode Island, to conduct an analysis of Rhode Island traffic stop data; Providence Police Department, to conduct a racial profiling analysis for the city of Providence. Founded in 2001.

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Last Updated on January 7, 2021