University of Wisconsin–Madison

IRP Statement of Commitment to Racial and Social Justice

Solidarity symbol of four holding hands in a square

Solidarity symbol of four holding hands in a squareThe past year has been one of reckoning for the United States. While not new, the outrage over the murder of black citizens has made the systemic institutional violence and oppression people of color experience in their communities visible and demands that we all work toward change. In addition, the COVID-19 health crisis and its related economic fallout have made racial and economic disparities undeniably apparent by highlighting how precarious safety, employment, housing, healthcare and more are for many in our communities.

IRP was founded with the goal of supporting research into the causes and consequences of poverty and inequality in the United States. IRP strives to bring together social scientists from across disciplines such as economics, sociology, social work, and demography to increase our knowledge about how to reduce poverty and improve the lives of the poor. This work has often documented the ways in which systemic racism embedded in institutions, government policies and programs harm communities of color.

IRP is committed to understanding how policies and programs perpetuate or mitigate racism, inequality, violence, and poverty. We have been, and remain, committed to doing research that generates more equitable, just, and anti-racist policy systems and institutions. And yet, we still need to do better and more. It is important that as poverty researchers we center our work on fundamental values of diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging.

IRP is committed to doing more to support poverty research that does the following:

  • Identifies and describes how institutional and systemic oppressions like racism, ageism, ableism, classism, sexism, and homophobia contribute to and compound the effects of poverty in the US context;
  • Amplifies the research of scholars of color and those from other historically marginalized groups to enrich the academic literature that is available and have their voices shape the field;
  • Trains and supports emerging poverty scholars, particularly those from historically marginalized groups, to diversify and enrich the academic world; and

Stands in solidarity with those who are directly impacted by systemic oppressions like racism, ageism, ableism, classism, sexism, and homophobia and speaks out against social and racial injustice and for equity and inclusion especially in our fields of scholarship.