Community is at the heart of the IRJ research and organizational model. By bringing community stakeholders into the process of developing social science research projects, the Institute is better able to identify and assess current and salient research topics and data in the field.

To this end, the Institute has placed significant effort into establishing relationships and recruiting involvement from community practitioners. Since its founding in 2001, staff from the Institute has met with numerous community-based organizations in the Boston area and countless individuals. Through this outreach, the Institute received commitments from a number of Community Practitioners to serve on a Community Advisory Board that assists Institute staff in shaping the IRJ research agenda.

In addition IRJ has formed relationships and pairs with other local organizations, community partners, to collaborate on specific events and initiatives. The Institute has staged a number of events at Northeastern and around the Boston area on race and justice issues.