Race Forward (Applied Research Center)

Race Forward Logo (link) by Crjiwiki is licensed CC BY-SA 4.0 (link)



Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2020):

Revenue: $20,857,248
Expenses: $13,030,036
Assets: $23,950,967

Former Name:

Applied Research Center




Glenn Harris


Identity Based Advocacy Organziation

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Race Forward (also known as Applied Research Center) is a left-of-center organization that advocates for a variety of racial and identity-based issues. The organization hosts conferences in support of left-progressive racial and identity-politics efforts, publishes the magazine and online media outlet Colorlines, and co-sponsors the Government Alliance on Race and Equity, a coalition of local governments engaging in vocal support for liberal racial and identity-politics policies.


Race Forward, originally known as the Applied Research Center, was founded in 1981 by Gary Delgado, a liberal activist who advocates primarily on race-relations issues. Delgado headed the organization until 2006, when Rinku Sen took over. Sen led the organization into a merger with Center for Social Inclusion, an identity-politics organization that advocated on issues such as economic inequality and other race-related policy issues. 1

Facing Race National Conference

The Facing Race National Conference is an annual conference hosted by Race Forward made up of workshops, panels, and other activities all designed to push the organization’s left-progressive approach to identity politics and race-relations advocacy issues. In the past, the conference has pushed radical-left claims such as pushing anti-market and pro-socialism rhetoric through panel discussions, claiming that K-12 schools are pushing white supremacy, and claiming that the Trump administration is pushing white-nationalist policies through the White House. 2

Facing Race National Conference has been sponsored and funded by a number of left-of-center and liberal organizations. Notably, it is sponsored or attended by PolicyLink3, a radical-left organization that pushes race-based policy; the Ben and Jerry’s Foundation,4 the left-of-center grantmaking organization associated with the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream company; and the Center for Media Justice, a left-of-center media organization pushing a number of liberal policy issues. 5 The conference also received a $25,000 grant in 2016 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the second largest grantmaking entity in the world6.


Colorlines is an online publication and physical magazine funded by Race Forward. The publication focuses on racial identity issues and other left-of-center and liberal issues. Stories published on Colorlines push a wide variety of issues such as expanded access to abortion, expansionist immigration policies, labor organizing, tax incentives for people of color, and LGBT issues. 7

The Colorlines website has featured left-of-center and liberal organizations pushing different issues. For example, the website pushed environmental issues featuring the Climate Justice Alliance, a left-of-center coalition organization pushing radical leftist environmentalist agendas such the Green New Deal. 8 Colorlines’ stories have also been featured on the website of Color of Change, an online organizing organization that attacks conservative organizations and seeks to silence conservative media. 9 The website was also listed by Greenpeace as part of a toolkit the organization published in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department in 2020, in an effort to push the radical-left agenda of the Black Lives Matter movement and related entities. 10

Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE)

Government Alliance on Race and Equity is a fiscally sponsored project of Race Forward that serves as a coalition of local governments engaging in vocal support for race-first and identity policies. The project is also funded by the Othering and Belonging Institute (formerly the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society), a left-of-center think tank housed at the University of California at Berkeley that produces studies pushing race-first policies.

The advisory board for the project is made up of activists and officials from left-of-center and liberal organizations, labor unions, and American universities. Notably, members of the board work for the Service Employees International Union, one of the largest labor unions in the United States; PolicyLink, a radical-left organization pushing racial-identity-politics; and Center for Community Change, a left-of-center organization advocating for an array of issues. 11


Gary Delgado is the founder of and a senior fellow for Race Forward. He worked as the executive director for the organization until 2006, when Rinku Sen took over. Delgado has worked in a number of capacities for racial-advocacy and other liberal and left-of-center issues. He has worked as a researcher and has written articles for prominent left-of-center organizations such as the Ford Foundation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. He also worked as an organizer for the National Welfare Rights Organization, an organization active in the 1960s and 1970s that called for a guaranteed basic income for all Americans. 12

Glenn Harris is the president of Race Forward and the publisher for its Colorlines publication. Harris previously worked as the manager for City of Seattle Race and Social Justice Initiative, an organization which claims to fight a supposed systemic racism in the city of Seattle. He also serves on a number of boards of directors for identity-politics organizations. 13

Rinku Sen is the senior strategist for Race Forward and previously served as its president and publisher for its Colorlines news outlet. Sen has worked in a number of capacities advocating for identity-based issues and feminist issues. Ren headed the “Drop the I-Word Campaign,” which campaigned for major news outlets to stop using the word “illegal” when referring to people who enter the United States unlawfully. 14

Terry Keleher is the director of strategic innovations for Race Forward. He has a long history of working in advisory roles and as a “racial healing practitioner” for left-of-center organizations focused on identity-based issues. Keleher has worked for the ACLU, Chicago Community Trust, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. He has also published a number of articles covering racial and economic issues in left-wing and far-left publications such as Yes! Magazine, and the Huffington Post. 15


Race Forward reported total assets of $14,964,945 as of 2017. 16

The organization is funded largely in part by left-of-center and liberal grantmaking organizations. Notably, Race Forward has received $845,000 in grants since 2017 from Open Society Foundations, the grantmaking organization funded primarily by liberal billionaire financier, George Soros;17 $6,885,000 in grants since 2006 from the Ford Foundation, one of the largest left-of-center grantmaking entities in the United States;18 $400,000 in 2018 from the Kresge Foundation, a left-of-center grantmaking entity;19 and $160,000 in 2017 from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, a large left-of-center grantmaking entity. 20


  1. “About Us.” Race Forward. Accessed June 16, 2020.
  2. “2018 Facing Race Program.” Race Forward. Accessed June 16, 2020.
  3. “Facing Race.” PolicyLink. Accessed June 16, 2020.
  4. “Five Tools for Activists: What we learned at the facing race conference.” Ben and Jerry’s Foundation. Accessed June 16, 2020.
  5. “Facing Race National Conference 2018.” Center for Media Justice. Accessed June 16, 2020.
  6. “Grants Made: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: Race Forward.” Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Accessed June 16, 2020.
  7. “Colorlines.” Accessed June 16, 2020.
  8. “Climate Activists will hit D.C. Streets in April.” Colorlines, Yessenia Funes. Accessed June 16, 2020.
  9. “Color of Change Archives: Colorlines.” Color of Change. Accessed June 16, 2020.
  10. “Toolkit: Take action to defend Black Lives.” Greenpeace. Accessed June 16, 2020.
  11. “Advisory Group.” GARE. Accessed June 16, 2020.
  12. “Gary Delgado.” Race Forward. Accessed June 11, 2020.
  13. “Staff Profiles: Glenn Harris.” Race Forward. Accessed June 11, 2020.
  14. “About Rinku Sen.” Rinku Sen. Accessed June 11, 2020.
  15. “Staff Profiles: Terry Keleher.” Race Forward. Accessed June 11, 2020.
  16. 2017 IRS Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax: Race Forward. Part I: Summary.
  17. “Open Society Foundations Grants Made: Race Forward.” Open Society Foundations. Accessed June 16, 2020.
  18. “Ford Foundation Grants Made: Race Forward.” Ford Foundation Grants Database. Accessed June 16, 2020.
  19. “Kresge Foundation Grants Database: Race Forward.” Kresge Foundation. Accessed June 16, 2020.
  20. “Hewlett Foundation Grants Database: Race Forward.” William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Accessed June 16, 2020.

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Gary Delgado
    Former Founder and Executive Director
  2. Dennis Chin
    Director of Strategic Initiatives
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: September 1, 1981

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2020 Dec Form 990 $20,857,248 $13,030,036 $23,950,967 $2,965,137 N $17,295,773 $3,473,877 $9,385 $1,158,405
    2019 Dec Form 990 $11,012,148 $12,081,094 $15,252,581 $2,093,963 N $8,110,537 $2,781,713 $19,177 $1,152,755 PDF
    2018 Dec Form 990 $10,198,517 $10,429,867 $15,608,713 $1,196,137 Y $6,854,108 $3,211,990 $9,528 $0 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $15,578,884 $5,320,294 $14,964,945 $316,975 N $14,367,624 $1,201,159 $5,889 $0 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $4,657,706 $4,611,102 $4,675,852 $286,818 N $3,016,125 $1,600,898 $11,182 $280,860
    2015 Dec Form 990 $5,113,499 $3,419,223 $4,592,298 $173,694 N $4,591,955 $495,950 $12,330 $183,027 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $2,664,611 $3,979,977 $2,955,872 $228,313 N $1,682,466 $939,222 $24,388 $184,145 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $1,178,814 $2,819,840 $4,274,817 $251,022 N $791,235 $333,507 $36,189 $290,181 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $5,826,878 $3,198,637 $5,979,219 $286,676 N $5,208,674 $599,681 $32,558 $292,960 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $1,459,817 $2,768,452 $3,364,922 $347,169 N $897,860 $510,206 $48,274 $225,099 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Race Forward (Applied Research Center)

    900 ALICE ST STE 400
    OAKLAND, CA 94607-4481