Rinku Sen

Rinku Sen
Rinku Sen Publisher
New York, NY

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

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,, AlterNet, Racialicious, The Root, the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, and the Windy City Times, among other media outlets.

Read Rinku's full bio.

Rinku tweets at @RinkuWrites.

Remembering Andrea Lewis

by Rinku Sen on November 18 2009, 1:00PM

In the 1990s I was Co-Director at the Center for Third World Organizing and lucky enough for several years to have Andrea Lewis, who died of an apparent heart attack over the weekend, as my colleague. Andrea was a senior…


Obama Should Have Turned It Down

by Rinku Sen on October 9 2009, 10:31AM

Obama’s winning the Nobel Peace Prize reminds me of this clothing commercial in which a man whose face you can’t see is at an interview or on a date. He’s told that he has horrible work history or got…

Topics: Global Affairs

Rinku Sen and Billy Parish: Young, Green, and Broke

by Rinku Sen on October 6 2009, 8:08AM

This piece was coauthored with Billy Parish of the Energy Action Coalition; it originally appeared at the Huffington Post. Last week, the Labor Department reported that youth unemployment stands at 18.2%, nearly twice the national average of 9.8%. The percentage…

Topics: Economy, Environment

What the NAACP Means to Me

by Rinku Sen on July 16 2009, 11:00AM

Originally Published on The Women’s Media Center blog As a brown-skinned immigrant who has spent 25 years working for racial justice, I owe a good deal of my life to the legacy of the NAACP. So I’ve watched and attended…


Who Killed the Why? Buy Andrea Batista Schlesinger’s Book to Find Out

by Rinku Sen on June 10 2009, 10:12AM

Andrea Batista Schlesinger, a featured speaker at Facing Race 2008 and an ARC boardmember, has written her first book, The Death of Why: The Decline of Questioning and the Future of Democracy. The ability to inquire deeply is the lifeblood…


ARC is Picking up Steam for Racial Justice, Get Your Friends Onboard

by Rinku Sen on May 14 2009, 9:06AM

It is with much enthusiasm that I write to you today. The Applied Research Center, ColorLines Magazine and its blog, RaceWire, are gaining ground in spreading and popularizing racial justice. We are proud and excited to share some of our…


You can expect some changes around here.

by Rinku Sen on March 11 2009, 12:00PM

After 12 years, ColorLines begins the transition from print to online magazine. Here, publisher Rinku Sen explains the changes.

Topics: Arts & Culture

Changing the Immigration System for Immediate Improvement

by Rinku Sen on February 12 2009, 7:27AM

Yesterday, the Washington Post reported on the Migration Policy Institute’s list of 36 recommendations on immigration policy that the Obama Administration can and should take up. These changes – stopping to reassess the border fence and ending the criminal prosecution…

Topics: Immigration

Preemptive Love Isn’t Really Love

by Rinku Sen on January 20 2009, 2:01PM

The part of today’s swearing-in that remains clear, hours after the event, is a line from Elizabeth Alexander’s poem. I’m not a big on poetry – I’m too plot-oriented and speedy, and the stillness required to enjoy most poetry generally…


Rinku Sen’s Facing Race Conference Opening Remarks

by Rinku Sen on November 18 2008, 8:33AM

Continue to second part of the video and a transcript of the speech Welcome to Facing Race 2008 Last week, like many of you, I celebrated the election of the first person of color as President of the United…


This Immigration Cycle Kills People

by Rinku Sen on October 13 2008, 3:00PM

Today, the New York Times reported on rising hate crimes against immigrants in Italy. A 19-year-old African who had been raised there was beaten to death by two bar proprietors over a package of cookies. This latest incident, after…


Blogging from the Book Tour: Asking New Immigration Questions

by Rinku Sen on September 22 2008, 3:18PM

Editor’s note: Rinku Sen and Fekkak Mamdouh are in bookstores in the Bay Area, Seattle, and Portland, OR this week discussing their book, The Accidental American. As we travel around with the book, I’m fascinated that at every event,…


Get Melt

by Rinku Sen on September 19 2008, 2:12PM

Mamdouh and I are in week two of the tour, and we are exhausted and stimulated. In addition to the demanding schedule of 4 cities in 4 days, Mamdouh has been fasting for Ramadan. I don’t know how he…


Random Thoughts Blog

by Rinku Sen on September 5 2008, 2:29PM

I’m overstimulated and can’t focus, so here are some disconnected (or maybe not) thoughts. Last night, my mother, the former Republican, asked me with that touch of mad in her voice, “did you hear how sarcastically Giuliani talked about community…


The Accidental American

by Rinku Sen on September 4 2008, 12:00PM

Sept. 11 was a collective trauma. For immigrants like Mamdouh, it also shifted their politics.


DNC Day 4 - Bloggers in the “Big Tent”

by Rinku Sen on August 28 2008, 1:45PM

Of América - It’s Our Soverignty, Stupid: Panel on Immigration, Economic Justice and the DNC Angry Asian Man - angry asians at the democratic national convention, part 2 Black Women in Europe - Video of Michelle at Invesco Zentronix…


Party For The Vote

by Rinku Sen on August 28 2008, 11:51AM

My day of Latinos ended at the Voto Latino party in Denver’s Vinyl Lounge. This wasn’t an easy party to get into. Even Latino luminaries told me they had to work hard to score tickets, and I definitely wasn’t…


Getting out the Latino vote

by Rinku Sen on August 28 2008, 7:13AM

Yesterday, I was all about the Latinos. First, I interviewed people about the Latino vote and what the Obama campaign is doing to get it. Latinos at the convention are enthusiastic about their candidate (“Obamanos”), but there is some…

Topics: Politics

Making History, Barack Obama Accepts Nomination

by Rinku Sen on August 27 2008, 4:23PM

I’m in the Big Tent where all the bloggers are, well those who aren’t on the convention floor. Hillary Clinton, who had garnered about 340 delegate votes by then, just moved to end the roll call vote and nominate…


Hispanic Institute and Common Good Panel Tackles Race and Gender in the Campaign

by Rinku Sen on August 27 2008, 8:35AM

Yesterday I went to a panel on “The Culture Wars: the role of Race, Gender, Ethnicity, Religion and values in the Fall Campaign.” Dan Abrams of MSNBC’s Verdict moderated, and did quite a good job, and the line up included…