Women of Color Policy Network

The Women of Color Policy Network of the Roundtable of Institutions of People of Color was established in 2000 to incorporate the needs, narratives and insights of women of color in the formulation of social, economic and welfare policy.

The Women of Color Policy Network conducts research and collects data on policies impacting women of color in the areas of employment, poverty, welfare, incarceration and health; uses the data and information to help educate community-based groups to hold policy-makers more accountable; works with policy-makers to help provide them with data to improve their decision-making; and mentors future generations of young women of color to enter the public policy and advocacy arena.


295 Lafayette Street
New York, NY 10012-9604
Ph. (212) 998-7511
Fx. (212) 998-3890


Principal Staff

C. Nicole Mason, Ph.D., Executive Director and Research Assistant Professor, Wagner, NYU
Ph. (212) 998-7511
E-mail: nicole.mason@nyu.edu

Carly Highsmith, Assistant Research Scientist-Programs
Ph. (212) 998-7561
E-mail: cah389@nyu.edu

Diana Salas, Research Fellow
Ph. (212) 998-7530
E-mail: diana.salas@nyu.edu


Featured Events


Projects & Campaigns

Our Work

The Network conducts  original research  and collects data  on women and communities of color. Research generated at the Network is  used to help create informed public policies  at the local,state, and national levels. We also analyze  public policies  to determine the impact they will have  on individuals, families, and communities. Our research and  policy priority areas include economic securityhealth disparitiesleadership and human rights.The goal of our research  and policy analysis is to increase access and relieve  disparities for women and communities of color.

In addition  to research and policy analysis, throughout the year, the Network hosts convenings,symposiums, lectures, and other events with many of the  nation's leading scholars, practitioners, and thought leaders. Our aim is to deepen public understanding  of complex public policy issues through dialogue and a thorough examination of all sides of the issues.
Lead the Way: Building the Pipeline of Women of Color Leaders in the Non-Profit Sector

Lead the Way is a unique capacity building and leadership initiative for women of color mid-level managers and emerging Executive Directors working in non-profit and community-based organizations.


Reports & Resources

Women of Color Policy Network. 2009. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and its impact on Women of Color, their families and communities.

Mason, C. Nicole, and Diana Salas. 2009. Making Ends Meet: Women and Poverty in New York City.


Center News

Study Shows Link Between Segregation and Subprime Loans
Tuesday, February 9, 2010 - 3:57pm

November 19, 2009, 3:40 pm
Researchers at New York University who examined the relationship between subprime lending and race released a report on Thursday that found that the probability that individual borrowers receive risky, high-cost subprime loans increases depending on the racial composition of the neighborhood or metropolitan area where they live.
The policy brief, by the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy at N.Y.U., illustrates the stark and controversial racial disparities in subprime lending in New York City and other parts of the country.
The Furman Center researchers studied federal home loan data, New York City census tracts and 200 so-called Metropolitan Statistical Areas nationwide, including Chicago, Miami and Newark.
Their analysis shows that, nationally, black borrowers were more likely to obtain subprime loans if they lived in a more racially segregated metropolitan area. Locally, the study found that the likelihood that average borrowers of any race received a subprime loan increased if they lived in a part of the city with a high concentration of nonwhite residents. For example, a black borrower in a neighborhood with the highest share of nonwhite residents had a 38 percent chance of receiving a subprime loan, compared with 24 percent if the same borrower lived in a neighborhood with the lowest share of nonwhite residents.
When the share of nonwhite residents in a neighborhood increased, so did the probability that borrowers in that neighborhood would receive a subprime loan, according to the policy brief.
Housing and civil rights advocates say the subprime lending and foreclosure crisis has disproportionately impacted black and Hispanic neighborhoods, and they have accused lenders of a kind of reverse redlining, in which minority areas were being targeted for subprime mortgages.
Other studies have explored the issue. A Furman Center report in 2007 found that home buyers in predominantly black and Hispanic neighborhoods in New York City were more likely to get their mortgages from a subprime lender than home buyers in white neighborhoods, even in areas where median incomes were roughly the same. Another report in 2008 by the New York-based Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project and other groups showed that subprime lenders that had gone out of business made a greater number of loans in predominantly black and Hispanic neighborhoods than in white neighborhoods in New York City and other metropolitan areas.
The study released Thursday does not come to a definitive conclusion about the causes of the racial disparities in subprime lending. Researchers suggest that it might stem from neighborhood characteristics, like the lack of traditional banking institutions in many minority areas, or from subprime lenders singling out minority populations.
“We don’t know exactly what it is about those neighborhoods,” said Ingrid Gould Ellen, co-director of the Furman Center. “This calls for future research. The differences are pretty large and I think that it raises some serious questions about what is going on and how is it that borrowers get their loans.”