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Indian to head US institute on racial justice

Rinku Sen will take over as president and executive director of Applied Research Centre, a public policy institute advancing racial justice.

india Updated: Aug 17, 2006 12:33 IST

An Indian American women's rights activist has been promoted president and executive director of Applied Research Centre (ARC), a public policy institute advancing racial justice in the United States through advocacy, research and journalism.

According to a posting on the ARC website on Wednesday, Rinku Sen will immediately take over the leadership role vacated by founding director Gary Delgado who steps down this month.

Delgado will continue as president emeritus of the institute, which he had founded in 1981 and headed till date.

"This is an important time for the nation to recommit itself to racial justice," the New York-based Sen, who served as the centre's communications director prior to this promotion, said.

"From immigration and health care to education and national security, we must craft solutions to pressing political problems by confronting the legacy of racial inequality in this country," she said.

ARC board of directors chair Susan Colson, in a statement, said, "In the 25th anniversary year of the Applied Research Center, we are thrilled to usher in an unprecedented period of growth and expansion with a visionary leader pulled from our own ranks."

"Rinku has worked with the founding director to build ARC into a vital and respected national institute. We are confident that she will continue and expand that important work as president and executive director."

In her new role, Sen will oversee the growth and operation of ARC's offices in New York, Chicago and Oakland. She will play a key role in shaping the organisation's programmatic initiatives in research, policy, training and communications.

She will also retain her role as publisher of 'ColorLines', the national newsmagazine on race and politics published bimonthly by ARC.

Sen started her career as a student activist at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, fighting race, gender and class discrimination on campuses.

After graduating in women's studies from that university in 1988, she did her MA in Journalism at Columbia University.

She has written extensively about immigration, community organising and women's lives for a number of publications.

Her book Stir It Up: Lessons in Community Organizing is a guide for community organisations of all orientations and was a finalist for the 2004 Nautilus Book Award in the social change category.

In 1996, she was recognised by Ms magazine as one of 21 feminists to watch in the 21st century in 1996.

She is also a recipient of the Gloria Steinem Women of Vision award instituted by the Ms. Foundation for Women, an organisation working for women's rights.

Apart from her work in ARC, she serves on the boards of a number of organisations like the Center for Third World Organizing, Speak Out Speakers and Artists, the Schott Foundation for Public Education and the Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity.