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.

The Songs—And The MultiRacial Choir—Shaping Racial Reconciliation

by Rinku Sen on August 26 2008, 12:00PM

DNC Exclusive: In music created by slaves in the 18th century, one group finds a way to address racism today.

Topics: Arts & Culture

Short-sighted Immigration Study Misses the Point

by Rinku Sen on July 31 2008, 2:23PM

The Center for Immigration Studies has released a new report claiming that the numbers of undocumented immigrants have shrunk by as much as 11 percent, or by 1.3 million. They assert that stepped-up enforcement has encouraged many undocumented people…

Topics: Immigration

Racing up Netroots Nation

by Rinku Sen on July 21 2008, 8:42AM

Editor’s Note: Rinku Sen blogged for Racewire from Austin, TX on Friday at the Netroots Nation (formerly Yearly Kos) conference. Being here arouses my fear that with media and technology having such a huge effect on politics now, groups that…


Eating American on the Fourth of July

by Rinku Sen on July 7 2008, 11:47AM

En Español On this Fourth of July, I will be eating hot dogs. While I was trying to fit in as an Indian immigrant child throughout the 1970’s, they represented the quintessential American food. I begged my mother to…

Topics: Immigration

Kenneth Miller Compares Proponents of “Intelligent Design” to “Welfare Queens”

by Rinku Sen on July 3 2008, 8:07AM

Stephen Colbert is my hero! On last night’s broadcast, a repeat from June 16, Colbert did the kind of thing that I almost never rely on white media figures to do. He was interviewing Kenneth Miller, who wrote a…


On GRITtv With Laura Flanders: Obama is Not a Left Candidate

by Rinku Sen on July 1 2008, 7:30AM

GRITtv’s weekly media roundtable examines what the media missed and why their coverage of Obama’s move to the right reveals a much deeper misunderstanding of the candidate and his politics and perhaps of American politics in general….


After a Week of Gay Marriages in California

by Rinku Sen on June 29 2008, 9:04AM

Rinku Sen responds to news that California has extended marriage to gay and lesbian couples and that a number of those unions include people of color….

Topics: Video & Multimedia

Berlusconi’s Win a Blow to Immigrants

by Rinku Sen on April 18 2008, 1:39PM

Earlier this week, Italians re-elected Right Wing, plastic-faced media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi as their Prime Minister after the fall of the center-left Prodi government. This is not good news for Italy’s immigrants. Quite often I hear that the European Union…


Dear Generation Disaffected:

by Rinku Sen on April 15 2008, 9:14AM

Recently, I took one of our young interns out for lunch. His program requires a mentor, and I was it. I asked what his plans were after he wrapped up with us. He replied with some business about tending bar…


Responding to Reader’s Comments About Obama’s Speech

by Rinku Sen on April 9 2008, 2:10PM

I wanted to reflect on the comments that came into racewire and youtube after my post on Barack Obama’s speech on race. This is in no way an endorsement of his campaign. I don’t agree with all of Obama’s analysis…


Response to Barack Obama’s Speech on Race

by Rinku Sen on March 18 2008, 5:16PM

Topics: Video & Multimedia

One Man is Never Enough, We Still Have to Fight

by Rinku Sen on March 13 2008, 2:52PM

Many people are anxious about the fallout from Governor Spitzer’s problems, wondering what will happen now to the racial justice commitments he has historically supported. Organizations that work on sex traffic are mourning the loss of an important champion for…

Topics: Politics

We lost the most in the Black/Brown Debate

by Rinku Sen on January 18 2008, 2:00PM

Watching the so-called Black/Brown debate was so frustrating that at one point I thought, I am the one who’s going to cry. I expected Tim Russert and Brian Wilson, with Natalie Morales in for token color, to start with last…


Hate Crimes, Serial Killers, Fear He Was One of Us

by Rinku Sen on October 8 2007, 1:26PM

Last week, there was a bizarre confluence of hate crimes and murder news. In Wisconsin, James Nichols’ trial for killing a Hmong immigrant after declaring his intention to take one out ended in an all-white jury finding him guilty only…


Another Take on Larry Craig

by Rinku Sen on September 19 2007, 11:48AM

In eastern Washington last week, I asked two Latino activists from Idaho what they thought of the Larry Craig controversy. My knee jerk assumption was that Craig’s repressive sexual politics would spillover onto race issues – conservative here, conservative…

Topics: Immigration

Arabic Language School Struggles to Open

by Rinku Sen on September 5 2007, 11:19AM

Yesterday, the Kahlil Gibran International Academy, a middle school centered on Arabic language instruction opened peacefully with 60 sixth graders enrolled. The school follows in a long tradition of dual language schools in New York City, but has become…

Topics: Schools & Youth

Are Immigrants and Refugees People of Color?

by Rinku Sen on July 10 2007, 12:00PM

The American context demands an understanding of the country’s racial history and hierarchy. Luckily, the human spirit is flexible enough to hold existing identities while adding elements that help us adapt.


Conservatives are Crowing

by Rinku Sen on June 29 2007, 8:39AM

Yesterday was a big day in domestic politics, one of the most dramatic in recent years. The Supreme Court ruled against school districts using race explicitly in making school assignments, and the immigration bill died in the Senate, held back…

Topics: Politics

On “criminality, nepotism and luck.”

by Rinku Sen on May 30 2007, 8:55AM

Last week, David Brooks argued in the New York Times that the immigration reform bill that passed the Senate would reinforce middle class values among immigrants, encouraging them to think long term, work hard and enjoy competition. He likes this…

Topics: Immigration

College Hate & Where We Go From Here

by Rinku Sen on February 23 2007, 1:26PM

(New York Times Photo) There seems to be a revival of race-talk on college campuses, most of it din rather than discourse. White students are grooving to hate-themed parties at Clemson and Santa Clara University; college Republicans at NYU…