African American Research Collaborative

About Us

The African American Research Collaborative is a diverse group of pollsters, scholars, researchers, and commentators with decades of expertise in polling, qualitative research, African American political behavior, and everyday issues that impact us all, such as housing, policing, civil rights, and social justice.

AARC was established as a direct response to the minimal quantitative and qualitative data available on the political interests, motivations, and goals of African Americans. 


This lack of data has ramifications.


Historically, there has not been real meaningful or rigorous examination or exploration of the beliefs, attitudes, and intentions of African Americans, which has left everyone from political organizations to pundits unable to answer some basic questions.


  • What issues do African Americans care about? 
  • What messengers do Black voters trust most?  
  • What combination of messages and messengers will inspire African Americans to mobilize around an issue?


Most commentators will provide answers to these questions based purely on opinion because they know very little about one of the most important and effective voting blocs in US elections.


We have done the work to get answers to these critical questions, and our team has more than 30 years of experience not only collecting and analyzing data but turning it into practical and actionable information.

Our Work is More Important Now Than It Has Ever Been


The African American community, like all of America, is witnessing a generational shift in who votes, who runs for office, and who rallies to change public opinion. Young activists are many years removed from the experiences of those who lived through the civil rights movement, or even those born in its aftermath. We need to know how these different generations interpret demographic changes, identify with changes in LGBT rights, engage with opportunities for the undocumented, and get their news.

If elected officials do not address the concerns of African Americans, they suppress turnout. If advocacy groups do not raise issues in ways that have meaning for subsets of the African American community, they may miss out on activating strong allies. If reporters make assumptions about why African Americans are voting, they may miss the big story.


AARC was created to provide the highest quality research on African American political behavior so that long-standing questions can finally be given factual, data-driven answers. And our team is ready to work with you to help you get the answers and information you need.

Capacities and Services


The African American Research Collaborative can provide the following relevant capacities and services:

Survey Research

  • Design questionnaires and sample frames to meet client information needs
  • Expertise reaching hard-to-survey populations including racial and ethnic minorities, language minorities, and non-voters
  • Accurately develop survey instruments with eye toward cultural context
  • Polling using landline, cell phone, and online instruments, either separately or as hybrids

Focus Groups, Qual Boards, and In-Depth Interviewing

  • Participant recruitment, including hard-to-reach populations
  • Devise discussion guides within culturally competent context
  • Provide video, transcripts, reporting/analysis of group discussions
  • Incorporate focus group results into follow up survey interviews or polling

Quantitative Research and Analysis

  • Experience conducting research using academic, commercial, client-owned, and public data sources
  • Technical report writing for broad or specialized audiences including statistical modeling, probability estimates, cross-section and time-series analysis
  • Evaluate data needs, review existing data inventory, provide recommendations


  • Online experiments testing impact of text, image, video and/or audio cues
  • Option to embed survey experiments within an online survey
  • Technical, programming and analytics expertise