New RWJF, Urban Grant Program Helps Communities Use Local Data to Address Structural Racism

Urban Institute   (NNIP Coordinator)

September 2022 - June 2023

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, in partnership with the Urban Institute, has selected 38 organizations from around the country for the Using Local Data to Address Structural Racism grant program. The program supports grantees in using data to improve community conditions that have been shaped by structural racism through projects focused on housing, transportation, the natural and built environment, childcare and early education, community safety and policing, and other areas.

The 38 grantees are using data to understand how racial inequities manifest in community conditions and explore the systemic causes behind them. The participating groups will demonstrate the various stages of putting data into action: collaborating with local partners to acquire or collect data; facilitating interpretation of data; and helping to communicate findings about community conditions and health equity. Most importantly, they will engage with residents, community organizations, and government agencies to develop solutions to address these inequities in their communities. The Urban team will provide grantees assistance on data, policy, and community engagement, host peer learning opportunities, and document insights from the local experiences.

The program draws inspiration from the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership, and five NNIP partners are participating in the program:

  • Baltimore: The Maryland Center on Economic Policy and the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance will synthesize data and engage key stakeholders to assess the neighborhood-based implications of using small-area fair market rents for housing choice vouchers in Baltimore.

  • Chicago: Elevated Chicago, the Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University and other partners will develop a community-driven vision for the redevelopment of vacant land near public transit.

  • Durham: DataWorks NC will analyze data to identify racial and ethnic disparities in eviction practices and interpreting findings through community gallery walks to inform changes to local policies and programs.

  • Milwaukee: Data You Can Use will analyze and collect data on Black youth opportunity in Milwaukee to support community advocacy for more resources in Black neighborhoods.

  • Minneapolis: The Family Housing Fund, Center for Urban and Regional Affairs at the University of Minnesota, and Inquilinxs Unidxs por Justicia will examine the experience of renters of corporate-owned single- family properties to develop policy recommendations for preserving housing quality and reducing risk of displacement.

Read about all of the projects at and follow NNIP’s Medium page to receive updates.