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.

  • People are seen at a 24-hour COVID-19 vaccination center at the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Brooklyn, New York, January 11, 2021, photo by Brendan McDermid/Reuters

    Report

    Vaccine Hesitancy Is High Among Black Americans, Including Health Care Workers

    Mar 1, 2021

    Lower vaccination rates among Black Americans would further widen COVID-19 inequities in diagnosis, hospitalization, and mortality. But concerns about vaccine safety, mistrust of the government's transparency around COVID-19, and beliefs about racism in health care are contributing to mistrust of the vaccine.

  • A boy in the Hillcrest section of Corpus Christi, Texas, at the fence line of a refinery in August 2007, photo by Peter Essick/Cavan Images/Alamy

    Essay

    How RAND Applies an Equity Lens to Research and Analysis

    Jul 7, 2021

    RAND recognizes that serving the public good requires tackling the factors that contribute to inequities head-on. Current projects focus on such issues as environmental racism, mass incarceration, and anti-Asian violence.

Explore Racial Equity

  • A young Black boy writing at a table, photo by kali9/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Elevating Equity in Los Angeles Juvenile and Criminal Justice Reform

    At age 13, Black children are placed in juvenile detention at nearly 3.5 times the rate of white children. By age 17, that ratio increases to 4.5 to 1. And the trend continues into adulthood. Without ongoing attention and deliberate policies and programs, injustices are likely to persist.

    Aug 12, 2020

  • People socially distance as they protest in support of laid-off hotel workers without health care amid the COVID-19 pandemic, in Los Angeles, California, July 23, 2020, photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

    Commentary

    L.A. Has the Nation's Highest Unemployment. For Some Groups, It's Even Worse Than That.

    Los Angeles and its neighboring counties are among the areas hardest hit by the COVID-19 recession. The shockingly high average unemployment rates only tell part of the story, however. For the poor and some racial and ethnic groups, the jobs picture is far worse.

    Aug 6, 2020

  • A Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy stands watch at Men's Central Jail in Los Angeles, California, October 3, 2012, photo by Jason Redmond/Reuters

    Commentary

    An Uncertain Future for Jail Reform in Los Angeles

    There is momentum in Los Angeles County to do the difficult work of criminal justice reform. This will take considerable investments of time and resources, as well as a commitment to implementing new strategies and evaluating their effectiveness along the way.

    Jul 21, 2020

  • People watch as crews take down the statue to Confederate general Stonewall Jackson in Richmond, Virginia, July 1, 2020, photo by Julia Rendleman/Reuters

    Commentary

    Confederate Statues Symbolize the Role of Racism in America

    Monuments are public art and symbols important to those who hold power. The renewed debate about monuments to historical figures associated with the Confederacy is part of the larger debate about the role of racism in the United States and the treatment of African Americans by institutions.

    Jul 16, 2020

  • 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

    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.

    Jul 15, 2020

  • A divided community where one side is getting flooded, illustration by Meriel Waissman

    Essay

    Stress Accumulates in Marginalized Communities, Generation After Generation

    Psychologists and biologists have known for years that prolonged stress is toxic to the human body. A better understanding of how stress builds in communities—and the burden it puts on them—can lead to more effective policies to address it.

    Jul 8, 2020

  • Oakes McClenahan, 7, watches his teacher's recorded lesson on a computer at home, Seattle, Washington, March 27, 2020, photo by Jason Redmond/Reuters

    Report

    How Are Educators Teaching and Leading Through the Pandemic?

    U.S. teachers and principals shifted quickly to support students with distance learning during the early weeks of the coronavirus crisis. But unfortunately, the pandemic is likely to make existing inequalities worse.

    Jun 22, 2020

  • Demonstrators march during a protest against racial inequality in Brooklyn after the killing of George Floyd, June 16, 2020, photo by Brendan McDermid/Reuters

    Q&A

    Protests and Police Reform: Q&A with RAND Experts

    After the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis and subsequent nationwide protests, the United States is seeing urgent action to reform policing. Here are insights from four RAND researchers who work on policing and community safety issues.

    Jun 18, 2020

  • Profile with fingerprint on a red background, photo by malerapaso/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Bans on Facial Recognition Are Naive. Hold Law Enforcement Accountable for Its Abuse

    Broader police reform may be difficult to achieve. But in the long run, it will be more effective than any specific technology ban.

    Jun 17, 2020

  • Seattle Police officer Robert Brown talks with protesters as other officers collect evidence at the CHOP (Capitol Hill Organized Protest) area after a fatal shooting as people occupy space in the aftermath of the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Seattle, Washington, U.S. June 29, 2020.

    Multimedia

    Policies to Improve Policing in the U.S.

    In this Call with the Experts podcast, RAND researchers who work on policing and community safety issues share their insights on the recent Black Lives Matter protests and efforts to reform policing. They discuss findings from RAND research, what defunding the police means, and more.

    Jun 15, 2020

  • People stand in line at Harlem's Community Kitchen and Food Pantry in New York City, May 9, 2020, photo by Andrew Kelly/Reuters

    Report

    How Are Americans Paying Their Bills During the Pandemic?

    About one-third of U.S. households have experienced a decline in income as a result of COVID-19. Roughly 30 percent are having difficulties paying their bills, with these problems highly concentrated among low-income households, as well as black and Hispanic households.

    Jun 3, 2020

  • A man and a woman hold hands aloft during a Black Lives Matter protest in Hyde Park, London, June 3, 2020, photo by Dylan Martinez/Reuters

    Announcement

    A Statement by Michael D. Rich

    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.

    Jun 3, 2020

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

    Report

    The Benefits and Risks of Face Recognition Technology

    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.

    May 14, 2020

  • A row of lockers in a high school, photo by Monkey Business Images/Getty Images

    Report

    Secondary Educators Consider Discipline Reform a Priority

    One quarter of principals and 31 percent of teachers surveyed identified discipline reform as one of the top three most important interventions needed in their secondary schools. And those in high-poverty schools were more likely than those in low-poverty schools to do so.

    Apr 9, 2020

  • A worn-down prison block, photo by Tracy King/Adobe Stock

    Commentary

    Incarceration Rates: A Key Measure of Health in America

    There's widespread agreement that incarceration has adverse effects on health and health equity, not just for prisoners but also for families and communities. That's one important reason why incarceration in the United States needs to be reduced.

    Apr 3, 2020

  • Student taking a placement test alongside a teacher, photo by SDI Productions/Getty Images

    Report

    Supporting Students' College and Career Pathways: Teacher and Principal Perspectives

    Schools play a critical role in giving students access to college and career information and resources. What do U.S. high school educators think about the quality and availability of the resources that their schools provide?

    Mar 26, 2020

  • Educator listens during a parent-teacher conference, photo by SDI Productions/Getty Images

    Report

    Principals Need More Support to Help Students with Disabilities, Especially in Schools That Serve Mostly Students of Color

    Principals play a critical role in supporting America's 6.7 million students with disabilities. But most principals—especially those who lead schools that serve mostly students of color—believe that their schools could do a better job in this area.

    Dec 31, 2019

  • Journal Article

    Changing the Narrative: Police-Community Partnerships and Racial Reconciliation

    This paper assesses community perceptions of crime and the police before and after the implementation of an intervention aimed at eliminating overt drug markets through focused deterrence and police-community partnerships emphasizing racial reconciliation.

    Sep 20, 2019

  • Equations and formulas behind scales of justice, images by monsitj and DNY59/Getty Images

    Report

    Addressing the Challenges of Algorithmic Equity

    Social institutions increasingly use algorithms for decisionmaking purposes. How do different perspectives on equity or fairness inform the use of algorithms in the context of auto insurance pricing, job recruitment, and criminal justice?

    Jul 11, 2019

  • Men on different ladders to illustrate inequity in Pittsburgh, Pa., illustrations by hyejin kang and teddyandmia/Getty Images; design by Chara Williams/RAND Corporation

    Essay

    How Pittsburgh Is Addressing Social and Economic Disparities

    Pittsburgh has been taking a hard look at race, wealth, and opportunity. In partnership with RAND, the city has run and published its numbers on subjects ranging from police contacts to business ownership to graduation rates as part of a commitment to do better.

    Jul 2, 2019