The Washington Institute for the Study of Inequality and Race (WISIR) is an interdisciplinary research center dedicated to bringing the tools of critical theory and contemporary social science to the analysis of social, economic, and political inequality along lines of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class. The center seeks to enhance public understanding of these issues, as well as contribute to political solutions.
Founded in 2006 by Gary Segura, WISIR was initially called the Washington Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race, and Sexuality (WISER). After Segura left the University of Washington for Stanford in 2008, Matt Barreto (now of UCLA) became Director, and it flourished under his leadership for the next seven years.
Jack Turner became Director in 2015. He and the Institute’s stakeholders decided to rename the Institute WISIR to mark its shift to the study of inequality more broadly, including social and economic class. The study of race will always be a prime part of WISIR’s mission, and it remains strongly committed to the study of ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and the mutual interaction of all of these axes of inequality. Turner concluded his term as WISIR Director in 2018.
Megan Ming Francis is the current Director of WISIR.