The AIR Equity Initiative:

A Bridge to a More Equitable World

Since its founding in 1946, the American Institutes for Research® (AIR) has conducted rigorous research and used evidence to address the complex social issues and improve the lives of people, both in the U.S. and across the globe. The AIR Equity Initiative is predicated on these same principles and strengthens AIR's commitment by investing in the generation and use of high-quality evidence to address the harmful effects of inequality.

Learn more about this landmark commitment.

Our Work: Strategies for Advancing Equity


We are advancing equity by funding new or under-resourced efforts within and across our program areas to improve educational experiences, enhance justice in public safety and policing, strengthen economic mobility, and improve health outcomes for underserved communities.

At the core of this work, we fund and foster partnerships with those who are directly affected by the inequities we seek to address and those who influence and drive decision-making. Our work incorporates diverse perspectives, experiences, and areas of expertise to shape approaches and solutions that are responsive to the communities we serve.

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Equity is about fairness and taking deliberate actions to remove barriers and promote opportunities to ensure that people and communities get what they need to thrive.

Building Bridges and Breaking Barriers

Our Programs

Our Approach

Track Our Progress

Creating Connections

The 2023 AIR Equity Initiative annual report features stories, data, and project highlights from our efforts to build bridges toward a more equitable world, where all communities and people can thrive.

By the Numbers

Our growing number of grants and partnerships support a wide variety of projects and geographic scopes.

Figures current as of January 2024

Grants Funded
Partner Organizations
Total Dollars Committed
States + DC

Follow the Journey

Insights & Evidence

The latest from our experts and community voices


Project Library

Awards listed by programmatic area


News & Events

Announcements, upcoming events, and recordings


Meet the Team

Rashawn Ray

Rashawn Ray  
Vice President and Executive Director of the AIR Equity Initiative

Rashawn Ray is an AIR vice president and the executive director of the AIR Equity Initiative. As a sociologist, Ray’s research addresses the mechanisms that manufacture and maintain racial and social inequity. He has published over 50 books, articles, and book chapters, and more than 50 op-eds. Ray regularly appears on news media and testifies at the federal and state levels on racial equity, policing and criminal justice reform, health policy, wealth disparities, and family policy.

Managing Director, AIR Equity Initiative
Program Director, AIR Equity Initiative
Senior Program Manager, AIR Equity Initiative
Senior Program Manager, AIR Equity Initiative
Senior Program Manager, AIR Equity Initiative
Program Officer, AIR Equity Initiative
Grants Administrator, AIR Equity Initiative