We are at a critical moment in our nation’s history, where real progress on advancing racial justice is possible. Today, many scholars and organizers are working to expose and dismantle the structural racism that threatens our economy, society, and democracy. This reckoning reflects the vision of an ascendant multiracial coalition that is coalescing around an emergent worldviewone that moves beyond neoliberalism and racial liberalism; beyond the individualistic “colorblind” conceptions of access and opportunity that defines our current economic and political system. Roosevelt’s Race and Democracy program sits at this intersection. 

Building a racially just economy and democracy will require transformative action and structural changefrom bold public policy and democratic reform measures to grassroots political powerbuilding and the creation of new centers of democratic power. It also requires confronting white supremacist backlash and politicians who are increasingly embracing strategic racism as a weapon of division.

The Roosevelt Institute’s Race and Democracy program examines how race and racism have shaped power dynamics in politics and the economy; elevates the ideas driving today’s racial justice movement to dismantle structural racism; and explores the path forward to building a more equitable economy and democracy for the 21st century.

Our Race and Democracy Team

Shahrzad Shams

Program Manager, Race and Democracy

As Program Manager for the Roosevelt Institute’s Race and Democracy team, Shahrzad Shams works to advance Roosevelt’s focus on racial justice and equity.

Deepak Bhargava

Senior Fellow, Race and Democracy

As a senior fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, Deepak Bhargava works on a variety of projects related to economic security, the safety net, progressive vision, and immigration policy.

William “Sandy” Darity

Senior Fellow, Race and Democracy

As a senior fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, William Alexander Darity Jr. focuses his research on stratification economics, reparations for Black American descendants of US slavery, equity-enhancing social policies, the Atlantic slave trade and the Industrial Revolution, and the social psychological effects of exposure to unemployment.

Darrick Hamilton

Senior Fellow, Race and Democracy

Darrick Hamilton is a senior fellow at the Roosevelt Institute.

Rich Stolz

Fellow, Race and Democracy

Rich Stolz is a Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. He has extensive experience as an organizer, and has worked in the fields of immigration, economic justice, and climate policy.