Racial Equity

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RAND research has addressed racial equity from several angles. Studies have explored such topics as disparities in the U.S. criminal justice system, unequal economic opportunities and barriers to employment for people of color, the achievement gap between minority and nonminority students, and how differences in access to quality health care can affect individual and community health and well-being.

  • Whitney Maddox and DeShaun Bradford stand in line with hundreds of others outside a career center in Frankfort, Kentucky, hoping for assistance with their unemployment claim, June 18, 2020, photo by Bryan Woolston/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Racial Disparity in Unemployment Benefits

    Jul 15, 2020

    Economic racial inequality in America cannot be solved through unemployment insurance, but it certainly shouldn't be exacerbated by it. And yet, Black workers are less financially supported during unemployment, simply by virtue of where they live.

  • Facial recognition on a mobile device, image by Irina Shi/Adobe Stock

    Report

    The Benefits and Risks of Face Recognition Technology

    May 14, 2020

    Face recognition technologies (FRTs) offer opportunities to improve identification efforts, but they also raise concerns about privacy and bias. Understanding the trade-offs between the utility and risks of FRTs is crucial for evaluating their adoption and implementation.

Explore Racial Equity

  • A doctor talking with a stressed patient

    Commentary

    Should the Definition of Health Include a Measure of Tolerance?

    Involving the medical community in helping to measure and increase tolerance could help make individuals and communities healthier. Since hate is both deadly and contagious, now is the time to engage the medical profession in eradicating it.

    Feb 15, 2017

  • African American teacher helping high school student in the classroom

    Journal Article

    To Educate or to Incarcerate: Examining Disparities in School Discipline

    Several factors contribute to disparities in office referral, suspension, and expulsion in high schools. Helping students engage in school may protect against disproportionate school discipline.

    Sep 30, 2016

  • Six stick figures standing on steps

    Report

    How Does Income Inequality Impact Opportunity?

    Rising income inequality can affect outcomes for children of parents with lower incomes by limiting their opportunities. Understanding the extent to which inequalities in opportunity and outcomes are related can help determine which policies have the most potential to level the playing field.

    May 23, 2016

  • The grand opening of a Shop 'n Save grocery store in the Hill District neighborhood of Pittsburgh, October 2013

    Research Brief

    What Happens When a Food Desert Gets a Supermarket?

    Introducing a new supermarket into a Pittsburgh “food desert” led to some improvements in residents' diets. However, most improvements were not linked to supermarket use.

    Nov 3, 2015

  • NYPD officers interact with pedestrians in Central Park, Manhattan, May 22, 2011

    Report

    Strengthening Trust Between Police and the Public

    Amid recent tensions between law enforcement and the public, three key questions must be answered to build the foundation for long-lasting mutual trust, especially given technological changes that are increasing transparency.

    May 1, 2015

  • Los Angeles firefighters standing in a flood

    Report

    Improving the Recruiting and Hiring of Los Angeles Firefighters

    The city of Los Angeles should revise its hiring process for firefighters in ways that increase diversity among highly-competitive applicants, minimize processing demands on the city, and create greater transparency for applicants in minimum qualifications and selection criteria.

    Jan 22, 2015

  • A mother and child outside together

    Journal Article

    Minority Parents' Perspectives on Racial Socialization and School Readiness in the Early Childhood Period

    Very young minority children have already been alerted by their parents to unfair treatment due to racial discrimination.

    Jan 8, 2015

  • Demonstrators gesture and chant as they continue to react to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 17, 2014

    Commentary

    Data Key to Tackling Racial Profiling in Ferguson

    Authorities in Ferguson would be wise to consider following Cincinnati's example in dealing with mistrust between police and citizens after the police shooting of a young black man. The city embarked on a thorough examination of racial profiling by its police force and took steps to deal with the perception that bias was influencing the way police officers performed their duties.

    Aug 21, 2014

  • Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott III, 18th Air Force commander, passes the wing flag to Col. Gina Grosso, the new 87th Air Base Wing commander, during an assumption of command ceremony here March 3. Colonel Grosso will be the first joint base commander of JB McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst

    Report

    Improving Demographic Diversity in the U.S. Air Force Officer Corps

    To what extent does the representation of women and racial and ethnic minorities in the Air Force match the make-up of the general population? Despite the Air Force's efforts, minority groups and women are underrepresented in the active-duty line officer population, particularly among senior leaders.

    May 20, 2014

  • preschool teacher with students around a laptop

    Report

    Early Education Plays Role in Bridging the 'Digital Divide'

    Digital literacy plays an important role in a child's ability to succeed in school and later life. Incorporating technology into early childhood education help close the “digital divide” that separates low-income students and their more-advantaged peers.

    Mar 3, 2014

  • prisoners attending a class

    Report

    Education and Vocational Training in Prisons Reduces Recidivism, Improves Job Outlook

    Inmates who participate in correctional education programs have a 43 percent lower odds of returning to prison than those who do not. Employment after release is 13 percent higher among prisoners who participated in either academic or vocational education programs than those who did not.

    Aug 22, 2013

  • Report

    Limiting the Potential for Racial Profiling of Immigration Laws

    Law enforcement agencies should be required to collect data that can be used to monitor the implementation of state and local immigration enforcement laws, to ensure that they are applied in a race-blind manner.

    May 3, 2013

  • A police officer on duty

    Report

    How Can Police Departments Use Lessons Learned by the Military to Develop a Diverse Workforce?

    Lessons from the military can be used to inform police personnel management who are concerned about recruiting and promoting a racially/ethnically diverse workforce: qualified minority candidates are available, career paths impact diversity, and departments should leverage organizational commitment to diversity.

    Dec 10, 2012

  • old patient in bed

    Journal Article

    Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Medicare Part D Experiences

    Racial/ethnic minorities report more difficulties in getting drugs and needed information through Medicare's Part D program. However, quality improvement efforts may reduce these disparities in beneficiary experience with prescription drug coverage.

    Oct 29, 2012

  • cancer cells

    Blog

    Understanding the Roots of Dramatic Black-White Cancer Disparities in the Nation'™s Capital

    The burden of cancer is not experienced equally across the population: Nationwide, black Americans have higher rates of death from cancer than white Americans, and nowhere has this disparity been more apparent than in the nation's capital, writes Rebecca Anhang Price.

    Oct 22, 2012

  • Report

    Cancer Disparities Between D.C. Blacks and Whites Greater Than Those Nationwide

    Across the United States in 2009, overall cancer incidence was 4 percent higher among blacks than among whites. The disparity was more striking in Washington, D.C., where the overall cancer incidence among black residents was 54 percent higher than the incidence among white residents.

    Sep 6, 2012

  • People praying in a Sikh temple

    Commentary

    Victims of Terrorism-by-Mistaken-Identity

    Perpetrators of hate-crimes against Sikhs often think they're attacking Muslims. This may not make the slaughter any more or less heinous, but it's another example of hatred flowing from ignorance, writes Jonah Blank.

    Aug 8, 2012

  • Report

    Identifying Barriers to Diversity in Law Enforcement Agencies

    Law enforcement agencies can use barrier analysis, a method of assessment aimed at identifying potential obstacles to obtaining resources or participating in a program, to better understand and address the challenge of creating diversity among their personnel.

    Jul 26, 2012

  • A father hugging his son on graduation day, photo by digitalskillet/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Dropping Out, Imprisoned or Killed: Disparities in Outcomes Faced by Young African American Men

    Boys and men of color—in particular, young African American men—are particularly vulnerable to racial and ethnic disparities. That such disparities exist should surprise no one. Nor should the fact that such disparities diminish the life chances of those affected, writes Lois M. Davis.

    Aug 26, 2011

  • Report

    Methods for Assessing Racially Biased Policing

    Discusses an array of methods that have been used to assess, using data on stops made by police officers, the existence or extent of racially biased policing.

    Jul 29, 2011