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

Senior 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.