Our History


What began over ten years ago with the development of the Race Matters Toolkit within the Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF) has grown into the Race Matters Institute, now a program of Just Partners, Inc. (JPI). The  demand for proven, research-driven tools grew to such a degree that moving outside of the foundation was a way to make Race Matters training and its expert trainers more widely accessible.

To enable the reach of Race Matters to expand, the Race Matters Institute was created in 2011 with support from AECF and with leadership from several former Casey employees – Susan Batten, current CEO and President of ABFE, Delia Carmen, Founding Director, and Paula Dressel, now Vice President of JPI.  Casey consultant Arvenita Washington, CEO of Phoenix Cultural Resources, Joanna Shoffner Scott, then Vice President of Policy and Equity Programs at Voices for America’s Children (the original home of RMI), and the late Ben Butler of Community Development Associates rounded out the original RMI Leadership Team.  The late Barbara Sugland of CARTA also contributed meaningfully to early thinking about the Race Matters approach.

Today, RMI is a program of JustPartners, Inc. (JPI) and the Institute has worked with clients in every major sector in more than 30 states.

The Institute provides services and products under both the Race Matters brand offered through JPI and its customized brand, Responsive Philanthropy in Black Communities, offered through ABFE.