Race Forward: America Is Systemically Racist

Race Forward (RF), a longstanding progressive organization, believes America is beset with systemic racism.

When looking through a “racial justice lens,” RF finds racism everywhere. There’s individual-level racism, interpersonal racism, institutional racism, and structural racism. All are considered social injustices.

Because of systemic racism in America, RF asserts:

  • Black and Latino Americans generate less wealth than white Americans.
  • America focuses mainly on illegal immigration coming across the US southern border rather than other parts of the world.
  • Black unemployment is twice as high as white American unemployment.
  • 13% of black Americans are incarcerated and denied the right to vote.

Race Forward singly blames racism for differences between Americans who are white and people of color, ignoring critical issues, such as education, single parent families, geography, crime, culture, and much more.

RF is also mute when it comes to examining groups of Americans who suffered from past racist policies but now enjoy much success. Asian Americans, for example, have a higher medium household income than white Americans. If America is systemically racist, and is the reason for inequalities among racial groups in society, as RF purports, how is it possible that Asian Americans are more affluent than white Americans?

Such inconvenient facts make hollow RF’s thesis that racism is rampant in America and is the main reason inequalities exist between  Americans of different color.



Race Forward, previously named Applied Research Center (ARC), was founded in 1981 by progressive Gary Delgado, an activist who helped establish ACORN in 1970.

In 1985, Delgado co-founded the Center for Third World Organization (CTWC), which trains “people of color” (white people are not welcome) about the “science and art of organizing communities” to “fight for social justice.”

In 2013, APC rebranded itself as Race Forward. The group seeks to advance “racial justice through research, media, and practice.” And by doing so to change America such that there are “equitable opportunities and outcomes for all.”

RF provides training courses for activists on “mobilization, skill-building, leadership development, organization- and alliance-building, issue-framing, messaging, and advancing solutions.” In 2014, it trained about 1,350 activists.

Twice annually, RF organizes a Facing Race Conference, which it claims is the “largest multiracial, inter-generational gathering for organizers, educators and creatives.” About 1,500 people attend the events.

RF also produces Colorlines, an online website focused on systemic racism in America.



From 2010-2014, RF received annually about $3 million in grants. The main sources of financial support are the Kellogg Foundation, NoVo Foundation, Embrey Family Foundation, Moriah Fund, Ford Foundation, and Surdna Foundation.

Kellogg is the largest contributor, giving more than $5 million from 2010-2012. Other key supporters are the Tides Foundation (donated $1.12 million from 2005-2010) and George Soros’ Open Society Foundation (provided $715,000). The Service Employees International Union donated $200,000 in 2011.








Drop the I-Word Campaign

Race Forward believes it’s a human right to move anywhere, including across the US border. RF opposes the “ideology of the nation-state” and believes America’s “unquestioned devotion to law and borders” is “dangerous and illogical.”

Americans who oppose open borders are viewed by RF as xenophobic and laws that criminalize human migration are absurd.

In 2010, RF launched a campaign to stop the Associated Press from using the term “illegal immigrant” when referring to people who unlawfully enter the United States. According to RF, they should instead be described as “undocumented immigrants.”

For RF, the “i-word” is a slur. It’s a “race code” that evokes mainly “images of Latinos.” It wrongly frames discussions on immigration policy in the context of law and order, rather than on families, survival, and work. In 2013, AP capitulated and removed the term “illegal immigrant” from its style book. Other media subsequently adopted the same rule.