Rinku Sen

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Expert Profile

Rinku Sen is the President and Executive Director of the Applied Research Center (ARC) and Publisher of ColorLines magazine.

A leading figure in the racial justice movement for the last twenty years, Rinku has positioned ARC as the 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 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.

Previously, Rinku served as the communications director and the director of the Transnational Racial Justice Initiative at ARC. Prior to that, Rinku held various leadership roles at the Center for Third World Organizing (CTWO), a national network of organizations of color, where she trained new organizers and crafted public policy campaigns from 1988-2000. Rinku started her organizing career as a student activist at Brown University, fighting race, gender and class discrimination on campuses.

Rinku is the author of The Accidental American: Immigration and Citizenship in the Age of Globalization (Berrett-Koehler), which won the Nautilus Book Award Silver Medal, and Stir It Up: Lessons in Community Organizing (Jossey-Bass). Rinku has regular columns at Colorlines, 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, and Tompaine.com, AlterNet, Racialicious, The Root, Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, Windy City Times, among other media outlets.

Rinku is a dynamic speaker who frequently goes on air to talk about the news of the days from a racial justice perspective. Media appearances include NPR; GritTV; Fox News; C-Span; Brave New Film's Meet the Bloggers; The Tavis Smiley Show; Air America’s Ron Reagan Show; Asia Pacific Forum; Pacifica Radio Stations, including KPFA’s The Morning Show; Regional NPR shows including WNYC’s The Takeaway, Peter B. Collins, and Michael Eric Dyson.

She received a B.A. in Women's Studies from Brown University in 1988 and an M.S. in Journalism at Columbia University in 2005. A native of India, Rinku grew up in the Northeast, USA.

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