The Delaware Racial Justice Collaborative (DRJC) today announced that Raina Harper Allen has been named Director of the DRJC, effective immediately. Ms. Allen’s primary role will be to further accelerate the pace of the DRJC’s efforts to eliminate systemic racism in public and private organizations across Delaware. She will report to Michelle Taylor, President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of Delaware (UWDE), which is the DRJC’s administrative home. Among other things, Ms. Allen will oversee advancement of the DRJC’s legislative agenda, expand partnerships with the corporate community, work with many of the state’s school districts to implement expansion of learning pods in high-need communities, leverage the DRJC’s collective influence to drive systemic change at a state, regional and local level, and advance the group’s action plans in the areas of Criminal Justice, Education, Wealth Creation, Health Equity, Diversity/Equity and Inclusion, and Youth and Young People. The DRJC was formed in 2015. In the summer of 2020, in response to the public outcry following the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others, UWDE reinvigorated the DRJC by engaging its diverse network of community leaders, and by leveraging its administrative infrastructure to create a stronger foundation for progress. The DRJC now includes more than 250 individuals representing nearly 150 community, business and nonprofit organizations in all three Delaware counties. Commenting on Allen’s appointment, Calvin Christopher, co-lead of the DRJC Steering Committee, said, “The DRJC is moving quickly across the state to advance its agenda of eliminating those policies and practices that enable systemic racism in Delaware. The work ahead of us requires a leader of Raina Allen’s skills and experience. Raina is known and respected in those community, civic and government circles that are critical to the work of the DRJC and will leverage that experience to supercharge our mission. I call on the entire Delaware community to support Raina as she works to make Delaware a more equitable place for everyone.” Commenting on her new role, Allen said, “In the early days of the DRJC, there was lots of passion and desire for change, but we lacked the administrative capacity necessary to move the needle around these important issues. Since then, the world has changed and the time is now to restructure the systems that undergird our society in order to place greater value on the lives and contributions of people of color in meaningful, equitable ways. I am honored to have been chosen to lead this movement. I look forward to working with the DRJC, and the United Way of Delaware to create lasting change for those most in need.” Allen began her career as chief researcher for DeWayne Wickham, former USA Today syndicated columnist and founder of the National Association of Black Journalists, working on issues related to race and social justice. She went on to work for the City of Wilmington in the Office of Economic Development, supporting minority business development, served as a Congressional Fellow to Congressman Artur Davis (AL); ran the Institute for Advanced Journalism Studies, along with DeWayne Wickham, at Delaware State University, supporting aspiring and current journalists of color, and would go on to serve as Special Assistant to then-State Treasurer Jack Markell, leading efforts around financial literacy. Allen served as Director of Community Engagement and Programs for then Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn, working primarily with nonprofits and faith-based organizations to forge relationships on his behalf and to help nonprofits strengthen their capacity. Additionally, she served with the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Delaware. Most recently, Allen served as Legislative and Communications Director for Wilmington City Council. She holds a B.A. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, and an M.A. in Urban Affairs and Public Policy from the University of Delaware.