Heldrich Center Awarded Grant to Support Research Examining Perceptions of Workplace Discrimination

January 14, 2022

A Heldrich Center initiative, A Workplace Divided: Combining Robust Survey Research and Strategic Stakeholder Engagement to Advance Equitable Workplaces and Economic Progress for Workers of Color, was one of 22 projects across the country receiving grants from WorkRise, a research-to-action network hosted by the Urban Institute, to conduct original research and build new data sets through surveys and analysis to develop actionable evidence regarding workers’ economic security, including research on labor market and workforce policies, employer practices, worker voice, workforce training, and entrepreneurship.

The Heldrich Center, based at Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, was awarded a $287,000 grant. Carl Van Horn, Distinguished Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Heldrich Center, and Ronald Quincy, Professor of Professional Practice and Senior Faculty Fellow for Diversity Studies at the Heldrich Center, both from the Bloustein School, will lead the project. Additional financial support will be provided by the Bloustein School and the Heldrich Center.

“As the nation grapples with systemic racism, we need detailed, reliable information on how workers perceive racial discrimination in the workplace. Partnering with WorkRise on A Workplace Divided will fill important research gaps about workers’ opinions and experiences,” says Carl Van Horn.

“By partnering with Historically Black College and Universities and engaging workers, business leaders, human resource professionals, foundations, policymakers, and others, the Workplace Divided research will promote opportunities for change and peer learning leading to more inclusive, equitable workplaces,” says Ronald Quincy.

A Workplace Divided will document how U.S. workers perceive and experience racial inequities in the workplace through a nationally representative survey of Black, Latino/a, Asian-American, and white workers. The findings will be used to engage stakeholders, inform program development and policy change, and guide future research to promote equitable workplaces and economic mobility. A Workplace Divided will build on the Heldrich Center’s long history of systematic survey research on workforce policies and practices. The center will also collaborate with partners from Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the Rutgers Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice.

“I congratulate the Heldrich Center on this important award, which complements the Bloustein School’s critical mission to create just, socially inclusive, environmentally sustainable, and healthy local, national, and global communities,” says Piyushimita “Vonu” Thakuriah, Distinguished Professor and Dean of the Bloustein School.

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