Statement by Michael D. Rich
June 3, 2020
James Baldwin famously said, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” It shouldn't require the deaths of innocent Black people to lay bare that our society has not yet faced up to the realities of systemic inequality and structural racism. It shouldn't require the civil unrest of the last week. It shouldn't require a once-in-a-century pandemic that disproportionately affects communities of color.
The consequences are self-evident. We see them in the data we collect and analyze, in the policies and interventions that never stand a chance when considered apart from the tangled web of biases that perpetuate poor outcomes.
Everyone must do more to eliminate racial inequities. At RAND, we will contribute by continuously strengthening our research and analysis on health, education, justice, security, and well-being. We must examine where these areas intersect, listen more to voices that are too often underrepresented, and integrate the historical and structural contexts in which policies have been developed and applied. Anything less would impede our mission to help improve public policy and decisionmaking.
Anything less would dishonor the legacies of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others.
— Michael D. Rich, President and CEO, RAND Corporation (2011–2022)