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Wiener Center and other HKS faculty offer their analysis of the unrest sparked by the killing of George Floyd and their thoughts on what's next.


News, insights, and other resources from Wiener Center faculty and researchers.


New books, articles, case studies, reports, and working papers are frequently added. Read more about the Center's working papers and faculty publications.


The Center's programs focus on PhD education, inequality, criminal justice policy, and the achievement gap in public schools.

Student Opportunites

Center for International Development/Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy Call for Proposals: Awards for Students Working on Inequality Research

Thanks to generous funding from The Review of Economics and Statistics, the Harvard Center for International Development (CID) and the Harvard Kennedy School Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy are pleased to announce a new funding opportunity for Harvard undergraduate and Master’s students pursuing original research on issues regarding inequality, both domestically and abroad. Projects addressing the impact of COVID-19 are particularly encouraged. Link to the application


New research from the Shift Project shows that only a quarter of workers who were laid off or furloughed at the height of the pandemic lockdown received timely unemployment benefits.


Guggenheim Professor of Criminal Justice Sandra Susan Smith discusses her research into the long-term negative effects of pretrial detention.


A nonpartisan initiative that strives to build a civic culture at Harvard University by increasing voter participation among students, staff, and faculty.


Jane Mansbridge talks about her 'jagged trajectory' to becoming one of the world’s leading scholars of democratic theory.


The Shift Project uses innovative data collection to examine the impact of precarious and unpredictable work schedules on American workers.


Alex Keyssar's new book explores the history and persistence of the controversial system for electing the US president.


New research finds black and Hispanic students living close to police-involved killings suffer substantial educational and psychological damage.


A new NBER working paper by Chris Avery reviews coronavirus models and suggests opportunities to bolster economic outcomes and save lives.


Mary T. Bassett and Khalil Gibran Muhammad discuss public health in the time of COVID-19, exploring how the virus encounters existing inequalities, replicates and amplifies them.


Researcher Rachel Lipson and mid-career student Jess Northend are tracking global policy responses.


New research tracing outbreaks among prison inmates and correctional staff. You can also read a Q&A with study authors Marcella Alsan and Crystal Yang.


New research from George Borjas shows economic and racial disparities in testing and infection.


The pandemic has reminded us of the most important parts of in-person teaching.


An honest reckoning with race will make America better, says Khalil Gibran Muhammad. Now he just needs America to listen.


The Wiener Center recently hosted the traveling exhibit Undesign the Redline: The Transformation of Race, Place, and Class in America.


New faculty member Will Dobbie talks about the common threads linking criminal justice, education, and consumer finance.


In the fall, Harvard celebrated the career of  sociologist William Julius Wilson, the Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor at Harvard University.


Educators have praised “The Formula: Unlocking the Secrets to Raising Highly Successful Children” as one of the most comprehensive studies on parenting.


With the visionary support of Malcolm Wiener, HKS has developed pathbreaking ideas in social policy.


The weaponization of a first lady’s image 
CNN, October 17, 2020
Featured: Leah Wright Rigueur

We’ve seen these proposed Boston police reforms before — they don’t work
The Boston Globe, October 16, 2020
Op-ed by Sandra Susan Smith

In this Pennsylvania town, racism 'was quiet.' Then Trump stoked fears of violence 
North Jersey, October 16, 2020
Featured: Khalil Muhammad

Why Republican women face a bleaker picture in the battle for representation in Congress
ABC News, October 14, 2020
Featured: Leah Wright Rigueur

Unemployed faced major barriers to financial support
Harvard Gazette, October 14, 2020
Featured: Shift Project Research, Daniel Schneider and Kristen Harknett (UCSF) 

Harvard Law School, Kennedy School professors talk racial inequalities during COVID-19
Harvard Crimson, October 7, 2020
Featured: Sandra Susan Smith

How to fix America’s voter registration system so more people can vote
Vox, October 6, 2020
Featured: Alex Keyssar

How we teach U.S. history
WBUR Radio, October 1, 2020
Featured: Khalil Gibran Muhammad

How to be an antiracist nonprofit or company
Harvard Gazette, October 1, 2020
Interviewed: Khalil Gibran Muhammad

How crisis shaped voting tech in the U.S., and how COVID is doing the same
CNET, September 25, 2020
Featured: Alex Keyssar

Trump rode to power on the wings of one of the most malignant and ugly lies in American history
RawStory, September 25, 2020
Featured: Khalil Gibran Muhammad

Challenges mount for election officials
Harvard Gazette, September 25, 2020
Featured: Alex Keyssar

The origins of policing in America
Washington Post, September 24, 2020
Featured: Khalil Gibran Muhammad

Arcade Fire’s Will Butler on how white privilege, race reporting informed new solo LP
SPIN, September 24, 2020
Featured: Leah Wright Rigueur

Teaching black history in schools 
Bloomberg, September 21, 2020
Featured: Khalil Gibran Muhammad

Reimagining the James Baldwin and William F. Buckley debate
NPR, September 20, 2020
Featured: Khalil Gibran Muhammad 

Community Colleges Can Be Engines of Economic Recovery
The New York Times, September 17, 2020
Op-ed by David Deming

What values and priorities mean for health reform
New England Journal of Medicine, September 16, 2020
Op-ed by Katherine Baicker and Amitabh Chandra

The crisis of mistrust and COVID-19: Race and re-imagining tracing and vaccination
USA Today, September 9, 2020
Op-ed by Marcella Alsan and Cornell William Brooks

Black Republicans, Donald Trump, and America’s “George Floyd moment” 
Vox, September 8, 2020
Featured: Leah Wright Rigueur


Each year, the Malcolm Wiener Center awards prizes for excellence in student research that best exemplifies the work of three remarkable individuals: Manuel Carballo, Susan Eaton, and Frederick Fischer. 

Manuel C. Carballo Memorial Prize

Stephanie Nussbaum (MPP 2020) for the Policy Analysis Exercise:
Keeping it FRESH: Evaluating the NYC Economic Development Corporation’s Food Retail Expansion to Support Health Program

Mr. Carballo was a faculty member from 1978 to 1982. This prize is awarded for exemplary articulation of ideas related to the implementation, management, and evaluation of programs to serve disadvantaged populations in the U.S.

Susan C. Eaton Memorial Prize

Lucy Moore (MPP 2020) for the Policy Analysis Exercise: 
Supporting Family Childcare Providers to Increase the Supply of Childcare in Boston

A student, alumna, and faculty member at Harvard Kennedy School from 1993-2003, Ms. Eaton was a tireless advocate for the rights of workers. The prize in her name is awarded to an outstanding paper on a topic related to human resource management; union leadership; health care quality, management, disparities and inequality; fair wage policies; work-family policies; gender equity, and aging.

Frederick Fischer Memorial Prize

Jyoti Gupta (MPP 2020) and Ella Han (MPP 2020) for the Policy Analysis Exercise:
Partnerships Strategy for Khan Academy Kids

This prize honors the memory of Frederick Fischer, an alumnus of the MPP program and a committed public servant. Awarded for  an outstanding paper on a topic such as  criminal justice; economic and social mobility; workforce development; inequality; education; immigration; social services; and related social policy issues.


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