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RSF Bulletin

New Book: The Company We Keep: Interracial Friendships and Romantic Relationships from Adolescence to Adulthood

With hate crimes on the rise and social movements like Black Lives Matter bringing increased attention to the issue of police brutality, the public continues to be divided by issues of race. In The Company We Keep, sociologists Grace Kao, Kara Joyner, and Kelly Stamper Balistreri examine how race, gender, socioeconomic status, and other factors affect the development of interracial friendships and romantic relationships among youth. They highlight two factors that increase the chances of having an interracial romantic relationship in young adulthood: attending a diverse school and having an interracial friendship or romance during adolescence.

The Company We Keep examines friendships and romantic relationships among blacks, whites, Hispanics, and Asian Americans to better understand contemporary race relations. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, the authors explore the social ties of more than 15,000 individuals over a fifteen year period from their first survey responses as middle and high school students through young adulthood. They find that while approval for interracial marriages has increased and is nearly universal among young people, interracial friendships and romantic relationships remain relatively rare, especially for whites and blacks. The authors pay close attention to how the formation of these friendships and romantic relationships depends on opportunities for interracial contact. They find that the shares of students choosing different-race friends and romantic partners are greater in schools that are more racially diverse, indicating that school segregation has strong effects on young people’s social ties.

Kao, Joyner, and Balistreri analyze the ways in which school diversity and adolescent interracial contact intersect to influence interracial relationships in young adulthood. The Company We Keep provides compelling insights and hopes for the future of living and loving across racial divides.

Read more or purchase a copy of the book.

RSF Launches New Pipeline Grants Competition with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

RSF has launched a new Pipeline Grants Competition for early- and mid-career researchers in collaboration with the Economic Mobility and Opportunity program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The program seeks to promote diversity in the social sciences defined broadly, including racial and ethnic diversity, gender diversity, disciplinary diversity, institutional diversity, and geographic diversity. Only researchers who have not previously received a trustee or presidential research grant or fellowship from RSF will be eligible to apply.

RSF president Sheldon Danziger says, “The Russell Sage Foundation is very pleased to partner with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on this important new initiative. It will provide a much-needed new source of funding for early and mid-career researchers who are under-represented in the social sciences, and increase diversity among researchers studying a range of topics related to economic mobility and opportunity."

The proposal deadline is December 3, 2019, for funding starting in Summer 2020. Full eligibility and program guidelines are available here.

Funding Opportunities in RSF Programs and Special Initiatives

The next letter of inquiry deadline is November 26, 2019, at 2 p.m. Eastern Time for the Social, Political, and Economic Equality, Future of Work, Behavioral Economics, and Decision Making and Human Behavior in Context programs.

View all funding deadlines and application guidelines.

Targeted Grants Competition: Improving Education and Reducing Inequality in the United States

RSF and the William T. Grant Foundation are launching the third round of their targeted small grants competition, the Educational Opportunity Monitoring Project. We seek research projects that deepen our understanding of educational opportunity and success in the U.S. by analyzing data on academic achievement from the Stanford Education Data Archive developed by Sean Reardon and colleagues.

Applications will be accepted through February 4, 2020 at 2pm Eastern time. Decisions will be announced in early April 2020. Read more about this program here.

How to Apply for Funding at RSF: Grant Writing Webinar Recording

The foundation will host a webinar on Tuesday, October 29, 2019, at 2 p.m. Eastern Time focused on how to write and submit letters of inquiry and proposals for our research programs. To sign up to attend the webinar, please visit this link. For more information on RSF’s grant making process, please visit our website or review our grant writing guidelines. You may also view a 5-minute video on how to use our new grants management system.

RSF Grantees Testify Before Joint Economic and Judiciary Committees

Two RSF grantees were recently asked to testify before congressional committees. Jane Waldfogel, Compton Foundation Centennial Professor for the Prevention of Children’s and Youth Problems at Columbia University’s School of Social Work, testified before a hearing of the Joint Economic Committee of the United States Congress on “Making it More Affordable to Raise a Family” in September. Phillip Atiba Goff, Franklin A. Thomas Professor in Policing Equity at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, also testified before a hearing of the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary, “Oversight Hearing on Police Practices,” in September.

Read more about Jane Waldfogel’s testimony here.

Read more about Phillip Atiba Goff’s testimony here.

Research by Margaret Olivia Sage Scholars Greg J. Duncan and Mary Waters

This fall, RSF welcomed Margaret Olivia Sage (MOS) scholars Greg J. Duncan and Mary Waters. MOS Scholars are distinguished social scientists who are invited by the RSF trustees to spend brief periods in residence at the foundation. Duncan and Waters are leading multi-disciplinary teams conducting groundbreaking research projects in the areas of early childhood development and natural disaster recovery and resilience respectively.

The RSF blog recently featured profiles of the Duncan team’s project, Baby’s First Years, and the Waters team’s project, Resilience in Survivors of Katrina Project.

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