National Racial Equity Initiative for Social Justice

Who We Are

Established in Late 2020

The National Racial Equity Initiative’s (NREI) mission is to combat systemic injustice and advance racial equity, human rights, education and community/economic development opportunities for the Black community.

Housed in CBCF’s Center for Policy Analysis and Research (CPAR), the NREI takes an evidence-based approach to inform sound policies targeted to reducing racial disparities caused by racism and discrimination. NREI also strives to provide solutions-driven and proactive policies and practices that produce equitable access, opportunities, treatment and outcomes for African Americans.

Our Work

The NREI framework supports the CBCF’s organizational mission of developing leaders, informing policy, and educating the public. NREI houses social justice policy fellows, the Task Force of Social Justice Ambassadors and awards social justice scholarships for HBCU students. The Initiative also serves as a repository of research, data and public policy related to social justice reform to make maximum impact in Black communities.

The NREI hosts a variety of programs and events that help connect our work to the people and communities we represent. Our program and events include:

  • NREI Community Conversations
  • NREI Social Justice Summits
  • NREI HBCU Scholarship Luncheon
  • NREI Live with the Task Force Series

John R. Lewis Social Justice Fellowships


These fellowships are designed to give young, Black professionals the opportunity to work in Congress and the Foundation to address social justice and racial equity issues that affect the Black community. Distinguished by two six-month rotations, Fellows will be placed in the U.S. Congress with Congressional Black Caucus members and the CBCF’s Center for Policy Analysis and Research (CPAR) for a total of 12 months.

Policy Research


The NREI Research informs public policy that advances social justice reform through the production of reports, policy briefings, and strategic engagement with the Congressional Black Caucus. Its areas of priority include criminal justice reform, education, health equity, and economic opportunity.

HBCU Social Justice Scholarships


These scholarships were created to encourage and support the next generation of social justice leaders committed to advancing equity, freedom, and justice for Black communities. The funds will be disbursed annually to undergraduate, graduate or doctoral level students attending Historically Black Colleges or Universities, pursuing studies related to social justice.

Task Force of Social Justice Ambassadors


The NREI Task Force of Social Justice Ambassadors work in collaboration with NREI to disseminate research and information, advance policy, and community-based solutions, develop relevant programming, share best practices, and raise awareness through media and mass movements for change with attention to youth activism, community organizing, and grassroots mobilization. They are an intergenerational and interdisciplinary group of social justice leaders who aim to amplify and empower Black voices and engage the disenfranchised Black community.

To learn more, please contact the National Racial Equity Initiative for Social Justice Director, Olajumoke Obayanju at

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