Photo: CSI Racial Equity Fellow Shorlette Ammons

We can build a vibrant and just society, but we must have policy ideas that transform what is possible. CSI works with our partners to understand the structures and systems that perpetuate the exclusion of communities of color, and shed light on the negative effects on us all. With our partners, CSI develops community-level solutions and national policy proposals. At CSI we believe both are essential to galvanize a movement to build an inclusive nation.

Our ideas work focuses on four programmatic areas:


Programmatic focus includes:

Energy Democracy: CSI is building off its recent report, Energy Democracy: Supporting Community Innovation by lifting up stories of community efforts for a renewable future and advocating for policy solutions, such as community-based Energy Improvement Districts. Learn more.

Transportation Equity: CSI is working with grassroots groups in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana and through national networks to generate policy strategies that will lead to investment in innovative transit options in communities of color. Learn more.

Broadband Equity: CSI is working with local, state and federal leaders to develop strategies for advancing innovative broadband models like community-owned and community-driven broadband networks. Learn more.

Food Equity: CSI is working with food justice leaders and grassroots groups to generate policy strategies and solutions that will create a more equitable food system, from seed to community. Learn more.

Undergirding and cutting across all CSI program areas is an emphasis on:

Transparency & Accountability: In 20 short years, people of color will constitute the majority of young Americans, and in 30 years they will be the majority of all Americans. For a thriving 21st century economy and democracy we must invest in this New Majority. With this in mind, CSI works with grassroots and national leaders to catalyze policies and practices that build transparency, accountability and participation for all to see and know how public dollars are being invested, understand the impacts of these choices and drive good decision making.

Talking About Race: For more than a quarter century, right-wing rhetoric has dominated debates about how we create a fair and prosperous society for everyone – undermining efforts to create a more inclusive society, and tearing apart the social safety net in the process. CSI engages in empirical testing of and trainings on how to create constructive conversations about race and ethnicity.

Bringing Community Organizers to the Policy Table: CSI’s Leadership Initiative includes fellowships and trainings for veteran organizers of color to develop policy ideas and strategies that address the needs of marginalized communities to dismantle structural racial inequity.

CSI is available to present our policy and communications work. Contact us at info(at) for more information.

CSI Newsletter

Sign up now!


Make a donation Find out more
how to support CSI >