Rinku Sen

Picture of Rinku Sen

Rinku Sen is the President and Executive Director of Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation and Publisher of Colorlines.com. 

A leading figure in the racial justice movement for the last 20 years, Rinku has positioned Race Forward as the movement's national home for media, research and activism. She has extensive practical experience on the ground, with expertise in race, feminism, immigration, economic justice, philanthropy and community organizing. Over the course of her career, Rinku has woven together journalism and organizing to further social change. 

Rinku is the Vice Chair of the Schott Foundation for Public Education, and is a Boardmember of the Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity. She is the Chair of the Media Consortium and sits on the boards for Restaurant Opportunities Center-United and Working America. Additionally, she is a Prime Movers fellow through the Hunt Alternatives Fund. 

Rinku is a highly sought-after speaker on a broad range of racial justice topics. She is the author of The Accidental American: Immigration and Citizenship in the Age of Globalization and Stir It Up: Lessons in Community Organizing. Rinku has regular columns at Colorlines, the Huffington Post, and Jack and Jill Politics. Additionally, her commentary and work has been featured in Forbes, The San Francisco Chronicle, Market Watch, International Business Times, TomPaine.com, AlterNet, Racialicious, The Root, the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, and the Windy City Times, among other media outlets.

Check out Rinku Sen’s media appearances.

Follow Rinku Sen on Twitter: @RinkuWrites

Let's Drop the I-Word—Again

We pushed major media to drop the i-word five years ago, but the slur is making a comeback. It's time for us to unite and say—again—that no human being is illegal.

Hiring More Cops of Color Won't End Police Violence Against Black Civilians

Rinku Sen argues that boosting racial diversity in police departments isn't enough to stop racist policing. The solution, she says, lies in confronting unconscious, hidden racial bias and taking a top-to-bottom look at how race affects policies and practices, regardless of who is carrying them out. 

Rinku Sen and Jeff Chang Discuss His Latest, 'Who We Be'

Chang's new history of multiculturalism, "Who We Be: The Colorization of America," drops today.

Rinku Sen: On the Civil Rights Act's 50th, Workplaces Remain Segregated

Fifty years after the Jim Crow-busting Civil Rights Act became law, occupational segregation runs rampant in the United States.

Passing the 'Movement Notes' Baton

I've been honored to have this space to share racial and social justice movement trends, successes and lessons with Colorlines readers. I'm excited to introduce Terry Keleher, who will take over this column from here.

Rinku Sen: Old Economic Policies Shape Today's Migration Tragedies

What's so frustrating about our immigration policy debate is that we hold it as though it is domestic policy only, as though it has no relationship to U.S. foreign policy and global economic behavior.

Rinku Sen: What Mandela Taught Us

He showed us how to fail epically, fail justly, fail lovingly, so that, in time, we can succeed.

10 Racial Justice Wins For 2013

This has been a big year for the movement. Race Forward's Rinku Sen brings us through the highlights.

The Case for Putting Race Forward

We can't solve a problem no one's willing to name.

My March on Washington, in Tweets

Rinku Sen covered the massive event--and all the voices there--140 characters at a time.

Building a New Racial Justice Movement

Creating a multiracial movement for justice requires more than slapping the word "new" in front of "civil rights movement."

Stop and Frisk, South Asians and Kal Penn's Tweets

South Asian leaders oppose stop and frisk, and Kal Penn agrees.


The huge gulf in white and black understanding of George Zimmerman's verdict raises tough questions about the relationship between explicit racism, unconscious bias, policymaking and culture.

Novelist A.X. Ahmad's New Thriller

His new novel features an undocumented Sikh immigrant caught in a political thriller.

How We Can Break the Cycle of Pain From Mass Violence

Care for those hurt. Care for those who will be accused. And care for ourselves. That's how we'll grow together, rather than tear apart.

Why the AP's Choice to Drop the I-Word Is a Crucial Victory

Because the deliberately divisive and willfully inaccurate term has stood in the way of real discussion for too long.

Going Behind the Kitchen Door to Inspire A Different Kind of Foodie

If you love food, and if you love people, Saru Jayaraman's new book new book wants you to help ensure the sustainability of both by taking a look into restaurant workers' lives.

Dear President Obama, Stop Deporting People. Thanks.

Rinku Sen's holiday homework: Join a letter writing campaign to interrupt the president's record-setting pace of deportation.

Rinku Sen: We Are the Majority and We Demand Justice

Sen's opening speech at Colorlines' gathering of 1,400 racial justice change makers set the tone for a conversation that stirred so strongly it became a trending topic on Twitter.

A People of Color Majority Alters Politics. Movements Change the World

Politicians, and everyday Americans too, do great things when movements make it impossible to do anything else.