Race Forward Announces Appointment of Long-time Civil Rights Organizer Eric Ward as Executive Vice President

For Immediate Release
Contact: [email protected]


November 28, 2022 — On the heels of its biennial national convening, Facing Race, and amid rising nationwide efforts to block multi-racial progress, Race Forward today announced the appointment of Eric Ward as Executive Vice President. In this capacity, Ward will work with Race Forward’s President Glenn Harris to ensure the success and sustainability of the organization, anticipating organizational needs and proactively addressing them. Ward will also align the work of the organization, overseeing the Office of Programs and the Office of Development and Partnerships, while working in partnership with the Office of Finance and Operations and the Chief of Staff to support organizational strategy and planning, systems and infrastructure development, and workplace culture.

“Eric brings over three decades of successful leadership in racial justice organizing and philanthropy to his role,” said Harris. “During that time, he has become a well-respected expert on authoritarian movements, hate violence, and democracy. His expertise in these areas at this moment in the country’s history will provide Race Forward with the expertise and strategies needed to advance the racial justice movement well into the future.”

Throughout his career, Ward has worked to ensure civil rights, having worked alongside community groups, faith leaders, government and business leaders, human rights advocates, and philanthropist. He previously served as the executive director of the Western States Center. Prior to that, Ward was a fellow with the Southern Poverty Law Center, a program officer with Atlantic Philanthropies, and a civil rights program officer with the Ford Foundation. He also spent considerable time serving as a field organizer for racial justice movements. In 2021, he became the first American awarded the Civil Courage Prize, due to his lifelong work pushing back on the proliferation of hate and political violence.

“I am elated to join Race Forward, particularly in the current political environment of rising threats of authoritarianism,” Ward said. “I look forward to helping to align the work of the organization, overseeing key programs, and supporting organizational strategy and planning to ensure we are well positioned to lead in the movement for a multiracial, inclusive democracy where we all thrive.”

Currently Chair for The Proteus Fund, Ward is a member of the Pop Culture Collaborative’s Pluralist Visionaries Program. He was the recipient of the 2016 Peabody-Facebook Futures Media Award for supporting the narratives of Muslim Americans in digital storytelling and is the author of multiple written works credited with key narrative shifts, including “Skin in the Game: How Antisemitism Animates White Nationalism.” Ward has been cited by numerous media sources including The New Yorker, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, ESPN, Black News Channel, NPR, BBC, and Rolling Stone




About Race Forward

Founded in 1981, Race Forward catalyzes movement building for multiracial democracy by advancing partnerships with communities that expand the practice of and commitment to racial equity in culture, policy, and institutions. It is home to the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE), a national network of local government working to achieve racial equity and advance opportunities for all; and Colorlines, a multi-media platform home for those interested in deepening their understanding of racial justice; and presents Facing Race, the country’s largest multiracial conference on racial justice.