Roy Wilkins Center for Human Relations and Social Justice

Hubert Humphrey and Roy Wilkins

Racial Inequality and Public Policy

The Roy Wilkins Center for Human Relations and Social Justice is dedicated to finding solutions to racial and ethnic inequality. Using an integrated model of research, dialogue, and community partnerships, the center guides and empowers policymakers and community leaders in developing and promoting solutions to the problems of racism and racial and ethnic inequality.

The center was founded in 1992 as a joint effort of the University of Minnesota and the Roy Wilkins Foundation to carry on the legacy of Roy Wilkins, former chief executive of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). It is the only endowed center and chair in Wilkins' memory in the United States. Read more about Roy Wilkins.

The center brings together a broad range of expertise to produce cutting-edge research, influence public policy, and implement viable programs on such topics as disparities, racial and economic inequality, educational opportunity gaps, and the impact and role of crime in minority communities. The center's four objectives are:

Promote discussions on race

Promote discussion on issues of discrimination, inequality, and racism by bringing together concerned stakeholders from all communities and disciplines to propose innovative, well-rounded solutions.

Build bridges

 Foster discussion and bridge-building within and among the different communities of color to help them discover their common interests, discuss their differences, and work together to advance the needs of all people of color.

Conduct quality research

Conduct quality research on issues of pressing concern to minority populations to understand the root causes of racism, inequality, and discrimination, and propose solutions to them.

Educate students in public policy

 Educate greater numbers of students of color in public policy to help their communities gain a more active role in policy discussions and decision making that affects people of color.

Explore our research efforts

In the Media

Professor Samuel Myers Jr. was interviewed for this story examining the Small Business Administration’s “flawed” data on the ethnicity of Paycheck Protection Program recipients.

MSP Business Journal
July 20, 2020

MPR News Presents aired a Humphrey School event featuring Professors Samuel Myers Jr. and Joe Soss discussing the wide racial disparities that exist in Minnesota despite its reputation as a progressive state. MayKao Hang (MA ’96), dean of the College of Health at the University of St. Thomas, was the moderator. 

MPR News
July 14, 2020