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Open Access Publications from the University of California

About Us

The mission of the Civil Rights Project / Proyecto Derechos Civiles is to help renew the civil rights movement by bridging the worlds of ideas and action, to be a preeminent source of intellectual capital within that movement, and to deepen the understanding of the issues that must be resolved to achieve racial and ethnic equity as society moves through the great transformation of the 21st century.  We believe that either the country will learn to deal effectively with the richness of its astonishing diversity or it will lose pace in a globalizing world and decline and divide. Focused research and the best ideas of scholars and leaders from all parts of the country can make a decisive contribution to a renewal of the promise of the civil rights movement.

America's far-reaching successes in the civil rights era fostered the false sense among many that racial progress was inevitable and irreversible. Recognizing these challenges, and understanding that contemporary civil rights problems defy easy answers, the Civil Rights Project (CRP) was founded at Harvard University in 1996 to provide needed intellectual capital to academics, policy makers and civil rights advocates. The model was: a multidisciplinary research-and-policy think tank and consensus-building clearinghouse; based at a leading university; operating with the highest intellectual standards; attentive to dissemination for multiple audiences; and committed to building a network of collaborating legal and social science scholars with advocates across the nation.

The Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles (CRP) is a leading organization devoted to civil rights research. It has found eager collaborators and wide-open doors among advocacy organizations, community groups, policymakers and journalists. Focusing initially on education reform, it has convened dozens of national conferences and roundtables; commissioned over 400 new research and policy studies; produced major reports on desegregation, student diversity, school discipline, special education, dropouts, college access, and published more than twelve books. CRP directors and staff testify and provide technical assistance on Capitol Hill and in state capitals, as well as develop tools for grassroots activists seeking changes at the local level. Its research has been incorporated into federal legislation, and spurred on advocacy efforts in the courts and school boards across the nation. In any given month, CRP reports are quoted in major national media. Its work was cited in the 2003 Supreme Court decision upholding affirmative action, and in a number of other important civil rights decisions.

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