Message from the Founder

Dennis Kennedy and President Barack Obama
I founded the Racial Justice Institute (RJI) on the principles of advancing Racial Justice in both our workforce and our communities. Having a keen understanding of systemic and institutional barriers that prohibit the success of individuals from historically marginalized groups, I positioned the RJI to serve as a resource and advocate for underrepresented populations. In addition, RJI will serve as a resource for companies, organizations, and individuals committed to Racial Justice. The RJI has the responsibility to speak out and advocate for accountability and change.

Recent events in our society, in our communities, has reminded us that our advocacy, training, and support remains critical for the success of those we serve. The deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor remind us that racial and social injustices remain prevalent in our society. The global and cultural crises illuminated disparities in healthcare, education, the workforce, and the societal systems and structures we live, work, and participate in.

To assist businesses, organizations, and individuals in advancing and sustaining racial justice, the RJI offers a strategic and comprehensive review and engagement to critical topics, research, and strategies from leading experts in the field. The RJI will guide individuals, organizations, and companies in assessing factors contributing to systemic, social, and institutional racism, identifying strategic solutions, and developing a sustainable action plan for justice-oriented change.

We hope this enthusiasm for justice will endure and that we are witnessing a tipping point in the centuries-long battle for true equality for all – and that people everywhere will commit to rooting out racism and injustice in all its forms. If this is to happen, individuals and institutions need to assess their failings and then recommit to bringing about equitable and just societies for all.

I hope this moment is a national and global inflection point. It is a time for us to rededicate ourselves to vigorously address issues of inequality, racism, and social injustice. As Dr. King said in a letter from Birmingham jail, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Now we must act.

Dennis Kennedy
Founder and Chairman
Racial Justice Institute
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