June 15, 2022
Creating effective anti-racist economic research and policy requires thinking critically about the assumptions and norms that influence how we view the world, and thus the way we understand and interpret data or approach solutions to social and economic problems. This process begins with a willingness to revisit U.S. history or current events from a perspective other than the dominant or popular view.
This guide seeks to strengthen anti-racist research and policy work by challenging assumptions and norms and exploring emerging frameworks for data gathering and analysis. Rather than exhaustively surveying every important topic relevant to race and ethnicity and the economy, it serves as more of a thought piece. And it is coauthored by some of the leading voices on the myriad ways in which race and ethnicity have been used to assign advantage or disadvantage and to normalize racial and ethnic inequities.
The challenge for each of us is to understand how race shapes the American experience in countless intersecting, and sometimes contradictory, ways that can be hard to disentangle from the influence of other markers of identity or class, such as gender. Given those complexities, anti-racist economic research and policy often involves nuance, and is not easily boiled down into a simple checklist or a formulaic step-by-step guide. In fact, even the most well-meaning attempts to “check all the right boxes” can come across as superficial, performative, detached, or worst of all, counterproductive.