USC Race & Equity Center



Our mission is to illuminate, disrupt, and dismantle racism in all its forms. We do this through rigorous interdisciplinary research, high-quality professional learning experiences, the production and wide dissemination of useful tools, trustworthy consultations and strategy advising, and substantive partnerships. While race and ethnicity are at the epicenter of our work, we also value their intersectionality with other identities, and therefore aim to advance equity for all persons experiencing marginalization.




The USC Race and Equity Center houses programs that reach across hundreds of institutions and organizations that work with thousands of faculty and staff members to strategically develop and achieve equity goals; better understand and correct racial climate problems; avoid and recover from racial crises; and cultivate sustainable cultures of inclusion and respect.

The K-12 Racial Equity Leadership Academies are in-person professional learning series that help K-12 educators and leaders more effectively lead on racial equity. Academy participants are introduced to content and strategies they have likely never learned anywhere else in their educational or professional upbringings. Over six months, we offer six daylong sessions either on the USC campus in Los Angeles or in the city/town where the participating district is located.


The LAUSD Local District West African American Student Success Project is a four-phase project that focuses on understanding and documenting environmental factors and cultural practices that facilitate and undermine African American student success across 16 elementary, middle, and high schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).

The California Community College Equity Leadership Alliance unites community colleges across the state of California for high-quality professional learning experiences on an array of topics pertaining to racial equity. Administrators, faculty, and staff across member colleges access a digital repository of useful tools and resources, as well as engage with colleagues beyond their individual campuses through a dynamic virtual community of practice.


The Racial Equity Leadership Academies are rigorous, in-person professional learning experiences that bring higher education leaders and faculty members to the University of Southern California campus. Across multiple days, expert instructors use evidence-based content, timely case studies, and an expansive array of engagement techniques to help RELA participants become more highly skilled in the practice of racial equity.


The National Assessment of Collegiate Campus Climates (NACCC) is a quantitative survey administered annually at colleges and universities across the United States. This survey provides data about undergraduate students’ appraisals of institutional commitment to equity and inclusion, the extent to which they interact meaningfully with diverse others, where and what they learn about race and their feelings of readiness for citizenship in a racially diverse democracy, and other important topics. Participating institutions receive their data files, along with a customized report that includes results and practical recommendations.

We offer companies such as T-Mobile and Citibank live, high-quality virtual professional eLearning experiences on a range of topics pertaining to equity, diversity, and inclusion in business. Virtual sessions are evidence-based and taught by dozens of expert faculty members from USC, Harvard, Wharton, Stanford, MIT, and other top-ranked business schools. Each is highly engaging and includes practical strategies; none are too abstract or uselessly academic.

In partnership with PayScale, we help employers of various industries and sectors conduct proactive and self-driven pay equity audits to determine whether any pay disparities exist within their organizations.  Where pay gaps are identified among employees with similar job responsibilities, comparable skill sets, or other compensable factors, we examine whether those differences can be explained by legitimate business justifications and not attributed to protected class characteristics such as gender and/or race, among others.  We offer our clients solutions to pay equity issues and identify their root causes.  



The University of Southern California is home to a dynamic research and organizational improvement center that works with professionals in educational institutions, corporations, and other contexts. We help our partners strategically develop and achieve equity goals, better understand and correct climate problems, avoid and recover from racial crises, and cultivate sustainable cultures of inclusion and respect. Evidence, as well as scalable and adaptable models of success, inform our rigorous approach.