RAND Center to Advance Racial Equity Policy Programs

The center is working to support the next generation of policy leaders through programs engaging researchers, staff, and graduate students at RAND and our partner organizations in racial equity studies. To get in touch about any of the programs, contact us at racialequity@rand.org.

Iguchi Initiative

The Iguchi Initiative honors Martin Iguchi, a groundbreaking leader who pioneered work on issues of racial equity and underserved populations. Iguchi was a true humanitarian who deeply understood the importance of diversifying the field of policy analysis and the need to apply RAND research to real community issues.

The Initiative builds on Iguchi’s legacy to champion dialogue and engagement between social justice leaders, underserved populations, and RAND policy analysts. Social justice leaders design and mobilize social change that can bring insights to policy analysis, but too often, these voices are not included in policy research.

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Affiliates and Ambassadors Programs

Through this RAND staff program, center staff affiliates have an opportunity to learn and explore, and take part in collaborative research and programming with stakeholders from across the organization. Support for affiliates is provided through center resources. Once the affiliate appointment is complete, affiliates may move into an ambassadors group, where they will share their work with other stakeholders, and serve as peer reviewers or mentors for future RAND cohorts.

Affiliates Cohort 2021–2022

Evan Banks

Evan Banks

Adding a Racial Equity Lens to the RAND Guide to Selecting Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Imagery

Project deliverable: A training video on applying DEI principals to selection of stock images was produced and circulated internally at RAND.

Jason Etchegaray

Jason Etchegaray

Engaging Stakeholders to Understand and Prepare for Future Work and Future Technology in the Home Care Setting—An NSF Application

Project deliverable: Equity, Where Art Thou? Opportunities to Improve Safety Culture Measurement [subscription required]

Melissa Finucane

Melissa Finucane

Identifying and Communicating Best Practices for Racial Equity Performance Assessment of Federal Programs

Marielena Lara

Marielena Lara

Advancing Racial Equity in the Era of Intensifying Natural Disasters

Jessica Welburn Paige

Jessica Welburn Paige

Comparing the Trajectories of Continuing-Generation African American and White College Graduates

Project deliverable: To Help African Americans Gain Generational Wealth, Look to the Housing Market

Nabeel Qureshi

Nabeel Qureshi

Understanding and Addressing Racial Equity Differences in Quality of Care for Depression Treatment in Primary Care

Fellows Program

Interested graduate students and external researchers at partner organizations can apply to work with the Center to Advance Racial Equity Policy on developing solutions to today's racial equity public policy challenges, resources permitting. Fellows gain practical research experience in areas such as diversity, equity, education, and inclusion.

Summer/Fall 2022 Social Media Equity Fellow

Abbie Richards

Abbie Richards, from Boston, Massachusetts, is a visiting fellow at the RAND Center to Advance Racial Equity Policy and a second-year master of climate studies student at Wageningen University and Research. Her work with the center focuses on bridging the divide between evidence-based research and the public via strategic social media communication. This fellowship is in partnership with Fair Count, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to voter rights and civic engagement in Georgia and beyond.

Summer/Fall 2022 Health Equity Fellows

Cindy Hsu

Cindy Hsu, of Ann Arbor, MI, is a visiting fellow at the center. She is an emergency medicine and critical care physician at the University of Michigan, as well as a member of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation Advanced Life Support Task Force and American Heart Association Emergency Cardiovascular Care Science Subcommittee. Her work with the center focuses on identifying and dismantling disparities in cardiac arrest outcome and emergency clinical trial conduct.

Amy Zeidan

Amy Zeidan, of Atlanta, GA, is a visiting fellow at the center. She is an emergency medicine physician at Emory University/Grady Memorial Hospital and co-directs the Georgia Human Rights Clinic. Her work with the center focuses on development of more equitable and inclusive research strategies for structurally vulnerable immigrant populations in order to better understand and improve health disparities.

Spring 2022 AAPI and Gender Equity Fellow

Songyee Yoon

Songyee Yoon, from Menlo Park, California, is a visiting fellow at the center. She is the president of gaming publisher NCSOFT, holds a Ph.D. in computational neuroscience, and is an advisory board member of the RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy. Her work with the center includes holding discussions to better understand diversity, equity, and inclusion and deepening understanding of structural inequities facing the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, with specific focus on the intersection of gender and AAPI equity.

Summer 2021 Racial Equity Fellow

Pierrce Holmes

Pierrce Holmes, of Springfield, Massachusetts, was the inaugural fellow at the RAND Center to Advance Racial Equity Policy and a second-year master of public policy student in the Heller School at Brandeis University. At RAND, Holmes worked closely with researchers Jonathan Welburn and Kathryn Edwards to explore policy models and context for federal reparations to Black Americans. Holmes was supported through the Segal Fellowship via Brandeis.

Project deliverable: We Patched Up Some Leaks, but Not the Root Causes and Effects

Fall 2021 Health Equity Fellow

Mahshid Abir

Mahshid Abir, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, is a visiting fellow at the center. She is an emergency physician at the University of Michigan and senior physician policy researcher at RAND. Her work with the center includes moderating a deliberative discussion with RAND staff on diversity, equity, and inclusion, and development of the center's Health System–Community Pipeline Program (HCPP).

Report: Key Factors in Designing the Health System–Community Pathways Program for African American/Black Children and Young Adults

Commentary: In Search of an Equity Lens: A Physician's Journey

Research Associates Program

Research associate internships are developed based on shared interest and need, and involve interdisciplinary work in research, design, moderation, and reporting of racial equity. Research associates collaborate with the center and partnering organizations to engage in diversity, equity, and inclusion-centered trainings, contribute to data analysis, and write reports, white papers, and commentaries.

Spring 2022 Wabash/Center Research Associates

In fall 2021, the center welcomed the first cohort of research associates through our partnership with the Wabash Democracy and Public Discourse (WDPD) initiative, run by Dr. Sara Drury, which resulted in a series of events and deliberative conversations. The second cohort of research associates began in January 2022 and includes two returning fellows.

Mark Andrew Magnon Jr

Mark Andrew Magnon Jr is from McAllen, Texas, and plans to major in rhetoric with a minor in biology. Magnon is a senior fellow for WDPD and a brother of the Phi Delta Theta Indiana Beta chapter at Wabash. He has also played an active role as a former mentor and student for the Wabash Liberal Arts Immersion Program. His past WDPD work at Wabash has focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Chase Breaux

Chase Breaux, Democracy Fellow, of Houston, Texas, is majoring in political science with a minor in Black studies. At Wabash, Breaux serves in various positions—such as co-president of 'shOUT, alumni committee chairman for the Malcolm X Institute of Black Studies, co-chair for the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and staff writer for the College's student-run newspaper, The Bachelor—to contribute to a safer and more inclusive atmosphere on and off-campus. Breaux is a returning fall 2021 fellow.

Sean Kirkpatrick

Seth Kirkpatrick, of Osceola, Indiana, is majoring in political science and rhetoric, with a minor in Spanish. With WDPD, Kirkpatrick has most recently worked on a history of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Wabash College. His efforts on this project included historical research into the College, research on rhetoric and deliberation, and DEI. He plays an active role in his childhood community of South Bend, most recently interning with the Parks and Recreation Department to work on projects such as fundraising for the department and making some of the more expensive attractions of the city more inclusive for all citizens.

Jonathan Silva

Jonathan Silva of Calumet City is majoring in politics, philosophy, and economics with a minor in French. At Wabash College, he advocates for the Hispanic voice to be active and is the president of the Hispanic organization La Alianza: Unidos por Sangre. He is also a member of the Diversity and Inclusion committee on campus and created a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee in his fraternity. As a WDPD Democracy Fellow, he researches, collaborates, and facilitates a conversation about race, diversity, and free speech. Silva is a returning fall 2021 fellow.

Past cohorts

Summer 2022 SPEC Research Associates

In 2021-2022, the center is partnering with the Sustainable Progress & Equality Collective (SPEC) to select research associates to assist in a unique, year-long project contributing to SPEC’s research and development projects and community building initiatives.

Yoline Banerjee

Yoline Banerjee is a research associate for SPEC. With a B.A. in sociology and a minor in education from UC Berkeley, Yoline has worked in various educational roles. She then went into Health Services by managing COVID testing sites. After experiencing different programs and web applications that had her thinking, “there has to be a better way,” she pivoted into the tech industry and graduated from Hackbright’s software engineering program. She is excited to combine her passion for working with the community and developing her coding skills to build systems that will help people learn, grow, and thrive.

Victoria Lo

Victoria Lo graduated from San Jose State University with a B.S. in health science administration. She has spent six years in operations for health start-ups. She is curious by nature and fueled by the need to help others. Using websites, applications, and other technologies, she went from helping thousands of people in one clinic to millions across the nation. With that scale of impact, she knew coding would be her next journey. Victoria then completed a full-stack software engineering program to have direct experience in building products that scale. With grit and armed with new skills, she is ready for a new challenge.

Crystal Shamsi

Crystal Shamsi lives in Steamboat Springs, CO, and is a research associate at SPEC. She recently graduated from Hackbright Academy, learning full-stack web development and computer science fundamentals. Crystal earned her M.S. in occupational therapy from Nova Southeastern University in 2013. As an occupational therapist, she dedicated herself to helping individuals gain the skills and tools necessary to achieve their utmost functional potential. Passionate about equality, empowerment, and justice for all people and populations, she is excited to blend her therapeutic and technological skills to expand her agency for positive impact.

Alicia Bong

Alicia Bong is a project manager focusing on team building and open communication. Her experience comes from multiple software adjacent roles in customer success and project management. She received her bachelor's degree in english from SUNY Oneonta. Alicia presented in the first New Critics Undergraduate Literature and Composition Conference and was the Vice President of their chapter of the Sigma Tau Delta English Honors Society. Her interest in sustainability and social justice has led her to join the team at SPEC. Alicia is a returning spring 2022 fellow.

Menoukha Robin Case

Dr. Menoukha Robin Case is a SUNY Professor Emerita who holds an MA in women’s and gender studies, an MA in creative writing, and a Ph.D. in english from SUNY University at Albany. Her dissertation addresses African diaspora literature via Yoruba philosophy; her post-graduate work emphasizes indigenous studies. Academic publications include Introduction to Feminist Thought and Action (Routledge) and Weaving the Legacy: Remembering Paula Gunn Allen (West End Press). Creative publications include “Bead by Bead” in Talking Stick Native Arts Quarterly and “Burying Grandma” in Tidal Basin Review, awarded Editors’ Prize for Best Prose in 2011. She serves on the boards of the Hamilton Hill Arts Center and the Ndakinna Education Center and on the steering committee of SPEC. Dr. Case is a returning spring 2022 fellow.

Ilia de Leon

Ilia de Leon, of Queens, New York, is a research associate with a focus in user experience design. She has a bachelor's degree in Information Science and Policy from the University at Albany. Ilia has spent many years working with companies overseas collaborating on various sourcing, production and logistics projects. More recently, Ilia has been focused on researching, understanding, and empathizing with users on their journey through digital products to create better experiences with usability, accessibility and inclusiveness in mind. Ilea is a returning spring 2022 fellow.

Past cohorts