Racial Justice Institute

It is more important than ever for advocates for race equity to understand and address issues of race, implicit bias, and how to affirmatively advance racial equity.

The Racial Justice Institute is a groundbreaking national leadership program, grounded in a commitment to race-equity as an integral and essential part of anti-poverty advocacy. Following seven months of intensive training, Racial Justice Institute fellows join a network of nearly 350 advocates working on race equity issues across the country.

Applications Now Open for the 2022 Racial Justice Institute!

The Racial Justice Institute assists civil legal aid and public interest lawyers and advocates in developing or fine-tuning their capacities to engage in racial justice advocacy within their daily practices, organizations, and communities. Applications are invited from racial equity teams that include at least one legal aid or other public interest lawyer serving low-income people or communities of color.  Download our application brochure to learn more about the program.  

Don’t delay! The application deadline for this year’s program is February 28, 2022. Apply today.

Attend the Racial Justice Institute Open House

Want to know more? Sign up to attend our free Open House on Thursday, January 27, 2022, at 2:00 pm Eastern/1:00 pm Central/11:00 am Pacific. Hear from past Racial Justice Institute Fellows about how the program transformed their work, and learn more about the application process and program structure. Register here. 


Attorneys and Specialists

Kimberly Merchant
Kimberly Merchant
Kimberly Merchant
Racial Justice Institute Director


Janerick Holmes
Janerick Holmes
Janerick Holmes
Associate Director, Racial Justice Institute


Our Insights

Although the pathway to organizational change can be challenging, groundwork can lay a helpful footing.

How Washington State Advocates Navigated Early Days of COVID-19 to Uplift and Partner with Communities

Groundbreaking Program Centers Racial Equity in Anti-Poverty Advocacy

By providing anti-poverty advocates with racial justice tools and concepts, RJI is transforming legal aid and public interest advocacy.

Our Impact

Understanding and using key constructs can help advocates better frame issues through a racial justice lens.

To receive the latest news and information from the Shriver Center