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 300 advocates working on race equity issues across the country.

Applications Are Now Open for the 2021 Racial Justice Institute

The past year laid bare the systemic inequities and structural racism that many communities experience daily. In response to a national call to support Black lives, organizations have been challenged to examine their practices and dismantle barriers to opportunity. Advocates are key to achieving important systemic changes in their client communities. But advocacy for lasting change must be grounded in an understanding of key race equity concepts and specialized tools. Gain the skills to advance race equity in 2021 through the Racial Justice Institute.

Watch a recording of our recent Open House below to meet recent alumni from the program and hear more.

Download the application brochure to learn more about the program and how to apply. Applications to the Racial Justice Institute 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. Don’t delay! The application deadline is February 26, 2021.


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

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.

Across the country, advocates for people living in poverty are working to ensure racial justice is a core part of their work.

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