The Race and Social Policy Research Center, now a college center, was originally formed in April 2001 as a university center to fulfill two primary goals: (1) to conduct and disseminate original research in the area of public policy with a direct emphasis on race and ethnicity; and (2) to prepare promising graduate students to think and speak critically, plan quality research, and contribute to public-policy discussions related to race and ethnicity.

The center promotes a broad and inclusive concept of race and ethnicity, which include African Americans, American Indians, Asian Americans, European Americans, Latinos, and biracial and multiracial identities. The center’s research projects involve the development and evaluation of public policy across different racial and ethnic contexts and within myriad public policy venues, including welfare, employment, education, health, and community outreach.