About

The Institutional Antiracism and Accountability (IARA) Project is an initiative of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School directed by Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Professor of History, Race, and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and the Suzanne Young Murray Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies. The goal of this enterprise is to use research, clinical knowledge and policy interventions to promote antiracism as a core value and institutional norm. IARA proposes to further explore and examine how understanding and engaging with institutional history impacts organizations when forging a path forward for racial equity. While the field of racial equity and antiracism is not new, it remains underdeveloped within the context of applied knowledge and implementation for organizational behavior and institutional change. 

To this end, IARA has built this online portal of antiracism policy research and organizational publications called the “Race, Research and Policy Portal” or RRAPP.  The purpose of RRAPP is to create a central repository for research and publications related to antiracist policy to foster sustainable organizational and institutional change. By building and maintaining a race research policy portal and providing practitioners easy access to significant materials we hope to increase the representation of this work in the classroom, student work, educational curriculum, organizations, and policy development. 

RRAPP Leadership

Khalil Gibran Muhammad Faculty Director, Professor of History, Race and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and the Suzanne Young Murray Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies.

Professor Muhammad is the former Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a division of the New York Public Library and the world’s leading library and archive of global black history. He is the author of award-winning The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America (Harvard), and contributor to a National Research Council study, The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences (2014). He serves on a number of boards, including the Vera Institute of Justice and the Museum of Modern Art.

Dr. Miriam Aschkenasy Program Director

Miriam Aschkenasy is a Board Certified, fellowship trained Emergency Medicine Physician and an expert in global humanitarian response and operations in low-resource settings. She has a Master in Public Health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, with a certificate in Management, Leadership, and Decision Science. After obtaining her MPA, she shifted focus to work on issues of institutional and historical racism. Dr. Aschkenasy has worked extensively both within academic institutions, and with national and international organizations including Oxfam America, The World Health Organization, International Medical Corps, American Red Cross, and the Centers for Disease Control on operations and program implementation.

Erica Licht MPA, MSc. Research Project Director

Erica Licht has been engaged in racial equity and organizational change research and training for over 15 years. She is currently Research Project Director at the Institutional Antiracism and Accountability Project (IARA) at Harvard University where she leads and co-designs IARA’s projects and partnerships. Erica is a Fulbright Scholar, and holds a Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School and a Masters in Justice Policy from the London School of Economics where she was a Maguire Fellow.

Prior to IARA, Erica served as Assistant Director at the Center on Culture, Race, and Equity at Bank Street College in New York City, and as a Fellow with Race Forward and the Government Alliance for Racial Equity. Her career has focused on collaborative community and institutional change programs globally, including consulting with the Center for Creative Leadership in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Lemann Foundation in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Lagos State University and Alternatives to Violence International in Lagos, Nigeria.

Erica is an expert facilitator, and has taught course work on justice reform at the University of the West Indies, Mona, and on adaptive leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School. Her writing has appeared in The Boston Globe and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NYAEYC). She currently co-hosts the podcast Untying Knots.

Kerri Ratcliffe Senior Fellow

Kerri Ratcliffe has had a long career in finance, environmental protection, literacy advocacy and service, and more recently has been immersed in racial equity policy studies and institutional change. Her research has been conducted in collaboration with the Institutional Anti-Racism and Accountability Project at the Ash Center at Harvard Kennedy School.

Kerri completed the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard in 2018 as a Partner. She was formerly Deputy Commissioner of the NJ Department of Environmental Protection – in charge of all water and natural resource programs, public lands, environmental justice, wildlife management and coastal regulations.  Prior to her government service, she was Vice President at Morgan Stanley specializing in Commodity Finance. Kerri also lived in London, UK for 18 years. While in London, she worked with literacy programs focused on under-resourced and recent immigrant communities. Kerri holds a Master in Public Administration degree from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Government Affairs at Syracuse University and a BA from Brown University.

Angel R. Rodriguez Research Fellow

Angel Rodriguez is Research Fellow (2021-2022) at Institutional Antiracism and Accountability (IARA) Project and coordinates the Health Equity research area. 

Under this area, Angel manages the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant for Antiracist Interventions in Healthcare project. This project aims to establish an antiracist framework for evaluating institutional and organizational change in the healthcare sector. Through library and case studies, the objective is to provide a systematic understanding of the uses and opportunities for antiracist interventions across hospitals, public health agencies, and professional associations. 

As a second project, Angel’s is developing a sustainability roadmap for revitalizing Brownfield properties into Digital-Energy campuses. This policy-driven strategy was designed as a Covid-19 resilient and recovery framework for fostering a community of practice that facilitates learning and equity implementation at the municipal level. The project is currently titled: Brownfield Data Center Theory and was most recently announced at the 2022 Data Center Sustainability Summit under the General Service Administration (GSA) and the Department of Energy (DOE). 

Angel has a background in History, Public Health, and Sustainable Science Policy, especially in Geothermal (renewables) Energy.

Summer Associate

Davida Bynum Master of Business Administration and Master in Public Policy candidate at Harvard Business and Harvard Kennedy School

Davida is a joint degree MBA/MPP (Public Policy)candidate at Harvard Business and Harvard Kennedy School. She previously lived in Chicago, where she worked as a senior management consultant in the banking and technology industries. Outside of work, Davida served her community through youth-focused initiatives, as a mentor to first-generation high school seniors applying to college and a second-grade tutor at an underfunded elementary school.

As a real estate agent, she gained perspective on the socio-demographic complexities present in urban cities. These endeavors resulted in her appointment to the Education Advisory Board of the Together Chicago nonprofit organization, where she worked on initiatives that tackled the digital divide to ensure that financial inequity did not prevent students from receiving equal opportunities to learn.

Davida graduated summa cum laude from Howard University with a BA in business administration and political science. Her passion lies at the intersectionality of business and society, which she will continue to study at Harvard.

Editor

Artair Rogers Ph.D. in Population Health Sciences candidate at Harvard School of Public Health

Artair Rogers is a first-year doctoral student in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard School of Public Health pursuing a Ph.D. in Population Health Sciences. Additionally, Artair currently serves as an equity advisor for Shift Health Accelerator, an organization focused on community governance, equitable institutional investments, and anti-racism accountability principles within the health care sector.

Prior to pursuing his Ph.D., Artair was the California Program Director for Health Leads, a national nonprofit focused on addressing social determinants of health (SDOH) in partnership with health systems, community-based organizations, and community members. . Previously, Artair served as a Senior Consultant for the Southern California Region of Kaiser Permanente where his work also focused on addressing SDOH in high utilizer patient populations.

Artair holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy Leadership and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Mississippi. He also completed a Master of Science in Health Systems Administration from Georgetown University. Artair’s research interests are frameworks for anti-racism accountability for health care organizations, health equity data frameworks, and reparations as a public health measure.

Technical Writers

Sakshee Chawla Master in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School

Sakshee Chawla is a second year Master in Public Policy candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School. During her time at Harvard, Sakshee has served as a Course Assistant for the course Markets and Market Failure, and a Research Assistant both at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and The Project on Workforce at the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy. Prior to studying public policy at HKS, Sakshee worked at an education research firm where she studied topics including student success, retention, and equity. She most recently developed a toolkit for universities to promote student and faculty mental health, as well as analyzed learning loss expected from school closures during the coronavirus pandemic. Sakshee grew up in New Delhi, India and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Psychology from Smith College.

Gabriella Aboulafia Master in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School.

Gabriella (Gaby) Aboulafia is a Master in Public Policy candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School. Before coming to Harvard, she was at the Commonwealth Fund, doing research on US health insurance reform and affordability. Her interests lie at the intersection of health care coverage and broader structural inequities; she is passionate about furthering the reach of health policy so that it can materially improve multiple dimensions of people’s lives. Gabriella grew up in Houston and earned her Bachelor of Science in Public Health from the Gillings School of Public Health at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Oscar Mairena Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) candidate and Prajna Leadership Fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Oscar Mairena (he/him) is a Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) student and Prajna Leadership Fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Oscar is an experienced public policy and communications professional who has worked in public health, outreach and social marketing, legislative and external affairs, and advocacy in the public and private sectors. Oscar has drafted and pushed for legislation and policy agendas within and outside of government. Oscar is an experienced trainer on issues of sexual health, HIV, LGBT health, health equity, and cultural humility. Oscar is committed to health equity and health justice and has dedicated his career to ending the HIV epidemic in the United States, particularly among queer, Black, and Latino communities. At IARA, Oscar serves as a Technical Writer for the Race, Research & Policy Portal (RRAPP) and as a Research Assistant for the Antiracism Interventions in Healthcare project.

 Oscar is originally from Southeast Los Angeles and attained a BA in Social Welfare and Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master in Public Policy (MPP) from the Harvard Kennedy School, with a Certificate in Management, Leadership, and Decision Sciences.

 

Clare Fisher Master in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School

Clare Fisher is a first-year Master in Public Policy candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School, concentrating in Social & Urban Policy. Her work at HKS focuses on community-based approaches to improving equity and violence reduction. Prior to HKS, Clare worked as a project manager and research assistant at Mathematica Policy Research. She is from Boston, Massachusetts, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Northwestern University. 

 

Acknowledgments

The IARA project would like to thank Ken Miller and Lybess Sweezy for their generous contribution and the Harvard Culture Innovation Lab grant which has made this portal possible. We would also like to thank the Woman and Public Policy program’s Gender Action Portal (GAP) for their assistance, encouragement, and support. 

The IARA project would also like to acknowledge and thank Liz Schwartz and Anisha Asundi for their valuable work and assistance.

RRAPP’s website was designed and developed by Extra Small Design.