Who We Are: Political Research Associates
Political Research Associates is a progressive think tank devoted to supporting movements that are building a more just and inclusive democratic society. We expose movements, institutions, and ideologies that undermine human rights.
PRA is the preeminent progressive think tank that monitors and challenges the U.S. Right Wing. For 35 years PRA has built the capacity of social justice change makers to understand, adjust, and do battle with their organized adversaries on the Political Right. We are a broadly respected and trusted source of information and analysis among advocates, journalists, and academics alike, combining a social justice movement orientation with deep expertise on the key groups and individuals at the center of the Right’s new governing coalition, including the Christian Right/theocrats, white nationalists and the “alt-right,” economic libertarians, and Patriots and other right-wing forces.
At PRA our main objectives are to: 1) inform and strengthen the work of frontline social justice partners; 2) expose and isolate organized opponents of human and civil rights; and, 3) shape public debate of key issues, using our profile as a think tank to open space for partners to advance needed solutions. Distinct from some other “watchdog” organizations, social justice groups comprise PRA’s principal constituency. PRA is likewise unusual in having a broad focus across many sectors of the Right, from neo-Nazis to free-market neoliberals.
Political Research Associates is committed to hiring someone with the right mix of experience (both traditional and nontraditional), political commitment, and potential to grow with us. We strongly encourage people from communities most negatively affected by right-wing ideologies & campaigns to apply, particularly: people of color; immigrants; women and feminine-identified people; lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and Two-Spirit people; genderqueer, trans, and gender non-conforming people.
Looking for another way to get involved? Please fill out this form or email firstname.lastname@example.org with a resume (including a reference) and tell us how you’d like to support the work we do at PRA.
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For our submission guidelines for Public Eye as well as politicalresearch.org, please go to: https://www.politicalresearch.org/submission-guidelines/
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Our contributions to social justice come in the form of strategy memos; workshops, briefings, and consultations; investigative articles and reports; an award-winning quarterly magazine, The Public Eye; op-eds and expert media commentary; a large online archive of research and analysis and a unique research library open to the public; adaptation of some of the best academic research for use by activists; and long-term strategic partnerships with visionary social justice organizers. A small sample of our many and varied accomplishments over our 35-year history include:
- Becoming a leading resource on white nationalism, right-wing populism, and fascism. With deep expertise on the histories and contemporary expressions of these movements, PRA has played a prominent role over the past year educating audiences about the threat of a right-wing populist upsurge as open bigotry became an increasingly prominent feature of the U.S. presidential campaign, particularly around the candidacy of Donald Trump. We were a contrarian voice of caution to those who disregarded the viability of an electoral strategy rooted in a cross-class and -gender coalition of white people. Since the election, we have been overwhelmed with requests to interpret what happened and prepare social justice communities for the consequences.
- PRA anticipated the current resurgence of right-wing paramilitaries, and we have exposed leading so-called Patriot movement groups, including the III% militia implicated in armed attack on Black Lives Matter protesters in Minneapolis as well as the recent plot to bomb a mosque and Somali immigrant housing in Kansas. In particular, we have backstopped rural community resistance to right-wing paramilitary groups with opposition research, strategic counsel, community and press briefings, and co-publication (with Rural Organizing Project) of Up In Arms, a report and activist resource kit.
- PRA is a leading national resource for challenging one of the leading threats to civil rights and labor laws, namely the dominionist (soft theocracy) strategy of claiming exemptions under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the free exercise clause of the First Amendment. This approach got a big boost in the 2014 Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision and has been attempted in a number of states, including Indiana, Arizona, and Mississippi. We expect religious freedom claims may emerge as a prominent strategy of the incoming administration, in which dominionists are playing a prominent role.
- Exposing the role of right-wing U.S. evangelicals in promoting state persecution of LGBTI people in Uganda and elsewhere on the African continent. PRA’s groundbreaking research in this area has shaped activist, media, policy, and academic responses to this human rights crisis. Our research provides one of the bases for a lawsuit charging crimes against humanity brought by Sexual Minorities Uganda against American anti-LGBT campaigner Scott Lively. And, PRA has worked closely with U.S. activist groups to confront and challenge Lively and other “exporters” of U.S. culture war politics.
- Collaborating with community and labor groups to expose & challenge forces attempting to privatize schools, transit, and public health systems in Massachusetts. PRA is the research partner to a coalition that is pushing back against the conversion of public services into profit centers for private enterprise.
- Shaping press coverage and public debate on current events and major news stories ranging from the Oklahoma City bombing by neo-Nazi Timothy McVeigh, to the anti-Obama Tea Party backlash, to the January 2016 occupation of an Oregon wildlife refuge by Patriot movement paramilitary groups.