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college students in classroom demonstrating affirmative action in higher education

Racial and economic diversity enriches the college experience for everyone.


Richard Kahlenberg, “arguably the nation’s chief proponent of class-based affirmative action in higher education admissions,” has helped overcome legal and political challenges to using race in admissions by pioneering programs that give a leg up to economically disadvantaged students of all races.

All schoolchildren deserve an equal shot. Separate schooling for rich and poor makes reaching that goal much harder.

Referred to as the "intellectual father of the economic integration movement," Richard Kahlenberg has helped lead school district efforts to create a healthy economic and racial mix of students–-through voluntary public school choice programs rather than compulsory busing.

Housing is too expensive. What's more, economic and racial residential segregation is a central driver of inequality in America.



Richard Kahlenberg is a leading voice in the growing effort to reform exclusionary government zoning laws that create so many of our housing problems. In recognition of this role, Washingtonian magazine named him one of DC's 25 most influential people in his arena.  

fence demonstrating housing zoning barriers


Richard Kahlenberg is Director of Housing Policy and Director of the American Identity Project at the Progressive Policy Institute. In addition, he is a professorial lecturer at George Washington University's Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration. He was recently featured in a front-page New York Times profile on his policy work as a "liberal maverick."

He is available for public speaking and consulting.

Richard Kahlenberg


Kahlenberg is the author or editor of 18 books, including

The Future of Affirmative Action book cover


The Remedy book cover


The Future of School Integration book cover


All Together Now book cover


Excluded book cover

NEW! 2023

He is also a regular contributor to dozens of leading newspapers and magazines


Kahlenberg has been featured on ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, PBS, CSPAN, NPR, and more

"Writer Predicts Diverse Colleges After End of Affirmative Action" 

PBS News Hour

June 29, 2023

"Integrating Our Public Schools With Richard Kahlenberg"

Bob Herbert's Op-Ed TV/CUNY TV

May 6, 2019

CSPAN exclusionary zoning policies video image

"Zoned Out: Examining the Impact of Exclusionary Zoning on People, Resources, and Opportunity"


October 15, 2021


Kahlenberg partners with some of the nation's leading foundations

Ford  ▪   Broad  ▪  Gates  ▪  Jack Kent Cooke  ▪  Hewlett  ▪  Walton  ▪  Lumina  ▪  Spencer  ▪  Nellie Mae  ▪  W.T. Grant

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