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


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.

José Antonio Vargas: 'You Know Someone Undocumented'

The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who’s become one of the nation’s most high profile immigration reform advocates talks to Rinku Sen about his journey.

The Difference Between Equity and Binders Full of Anybody

This week’s presidential debate highlighted the fact that there’s a distinctive difference between getting invited to the party and actually having fun.

Help Us Celebrate as the Applied Research Center Turns 30

In a world that had gone colorblind in the post-Civil Rights era, ARC’s focus on communities of color was anathema to some, and savior to many. Come join us as we celebrate three decades of hard work.

Immigrants Are Losing the Policy Fight. But That's Beside the Point

When reform advocates begin to win a profoundly racialized cultural fight over the nation’s identity, our politics will follow.

You Gotta Work the Culture If You Wanna Change the Politics

Rinku Sen profiles several artists and cultural organizers who’s work you can check out this summer–and at our Facing Race conference in November.

Laughter Can Make a Movement Go Around, Too

So watch Kamau Bell’s new FX show, “Totally Biased,” as it premiers tomorrow night.

Not Senseless, Not Random: The Deadly Mix of Race, Guns & Madness

The horrific attack on a Sikh community in Wisconsin is but the latest sign that this nation’s xenophobia is a crisis.

I'm Here: Showing Support for Immigrant Women

A new Tumblr campaign urges allies to show their support for migrant women. And you can join. Here’s how.

Why Our Vision of America's Future Must Count People of Color's Needs

It would be best to build an agenda for the country based on who and what we want to be, rather than on who and what we fear.

We Need Better Food. We Need Fairer Food Jobs. So Let's Get Both.

In a new report, Colorlines’ publisher asks: What could happen if the people who work to ensure good eating and those who fight for labor rights were to strategize together, and move projects that address both concerns?

Three Groups Unite Struggles for Racial Justice and LGBT Rights

We know that pitting queer people against people of color is a crass and sadly effective attempt to drive a wedge between two key constituencies. The Applied Research Center has released three new case studies of groups who are working to movements for LGBT rights and racial justice.

What Fires Young Progressives' Activism? A New Study Asks Them

In one of the first studies involving Occupy participants, the Applied Research Center gathered young activists from multiple movements in focus groups to ask, What propels you to the political frontline?