The Institutional Antiracism and Accountability (IARA) Project is working at the intersection of community, academia, and policy to address intellectual and practical questions as they relate to antiracism policy, practice, and institutional change.
The Institutional Antiracism and Accountability Project, situated within the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School, focuses on using research and policy to promote antiracism as a core value and institutional norm.
While diversity and inclusion work is an important step in this process, antiracism work encompasses demographic change at every level of the institution in conjunction with the adoption of antiracist institutional norms, values, and practices. To profoundly transform institutions, diversity and inclusion work is not sufficient when addressing structural processes that are rooted in traditions of racial exclusion and privilege and/or discriminate based on group disparities.
Implicit bias training, for example, helps uncover the problem of racial prejudice and racist stereotypes among individuals, but it does not answer the question of how to change institutions whose policies and practices are based on racist ideas. Individual awareness of bias is one thing; institutional transformation based on that training is something else.
The IARA Project believes in working at the intersection of community, academia, and policy to address intellectual and practical questions as they relate to antiracism policy, practice, and institutional change. In order to create and sustain change, the goal of this project is to promote antiracism as a core value for organizations by critically evaluating structures and policies within institutions. The project aims to analytically examine the current field of antiracism with a lens on research and innovation, policy, dialogue, and community involvement.
Our vision is to be a leader in institutional antiracism research, policy, and advocacy. With our knowledge, we will propose structural change in institutions and media centered on antiracism work in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors and digital space. This work will focus on researching existing organizations that conduct antiracism training, analyzing their effectiveness, and promoting best practices in the field. Additionally, we will study the implementation of antiracism work among institutions that self-identify as antiracist and promote accountability structures to help them achieve their goals.