Institute of Urban Policy

About Us


The Institute for Urban Policy Research & Analysis (IUPRA) is an interdisciplinary policy research institute that provides intersectional policy solutions. Our mission is to strengthen Black communities, promote social justice, and combat anti-Black racism using a racial equity framework.


To see societal and institutional change and the elimination of racial bias and disproportionality in Texas through policies that value, support, and advance Black communities.


The Institute for Urban Policy Research & Analysis (IUPRA) was developed in 2011 through the collaborative efforts of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus, the John Warfield Center for African and African-American Studies, and the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin. Development of IUPRA was seen as an important method for understanding the impact of public policies on Black people and communities, especially in Texas. Conducting critical policy analyses of existing and proposed legislation was seen as a means of developing data about the causes, content, and consequences of public policy by race, ethnicity, class, language, sexual orientation, gender, history, and culture. The diverse products IUPRA generates are designed to meet the needs of local, national, and international audiences, including organizations, communities of color, legislatures, scholars, and the general public.

Director's Statement

Thank you for visiting the website of the Institute for Urban Policy Research & Analysis (IUPRA). We are a non-partisan organization committed to applying empirical data to inform legislative policies that affect the quality of life of populations of color. Many of our projects focus on populations in the United States while some examine similar populations throughout the Diaspora. The Institute’s mission is based on our understanding of the critical role that public policy has historically and currently plays in determining the distribution of resources and opportunities by race, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, language, sexual orientation, and region. Our staff and graduate students use a variety of research tools and approaches to assess existing and proposed policies in areas such as physical and health, education, criminal justice, housing, and poverty.

IUPRA was developed in 2011 and is one of the units that comprise Black Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Together, Black Studies at UT Austin form a unique approach to university education, research, and cultural programming within the College of Liberal Arts. The effort to infuse public policy analysis within this framework is unique, innovative, and exciting. IUPRA’s focus on quantitative approaches to policy analysis adds an applied sciences base to scholarship within Black Studies.

We look forward to garnering your support of our work as we serve the university, local communities, the city of Austin, the state of Texas, and national constituencies. What starts here changes the world!


Kevin Cokley, Ph.D.
Director of the Institute for Urban Policy Research and Analysis
Oscar and Anne Mauzy Regents Professor for Educational Research and Development
UT System Distinguished Teaching Professor
Professor of Educational Psychology and African and African Diaspora Studies