Diversity Research and Action Center
Diversity is part of contemporary society. Throughout the United States and globally the world is becoming increasingly culturally diverse, with globalization, migration, and technology creating a far more diverse society. Northern Virginia, where the George Mason University Diversity Research and Action Center (DRAC) is based, is one of the most culturally diverse communities in the United States with one in 5 people being foreign born and a wide range of public and private human service organizations that serve the ethnically and racially diverse population. However, these organizations, similar to other national and international organizations, work relatively independent of each other and carry out their work without the ability to learn or collaborate with other regional organizations doing similar work with different populations.
Fred Bemak and Frank Blechman recognized this deficiency and met in 2004 to examine the need for and development of an organization to coordinate diversity services in Northern Virginia, nationally, and internationally, and to integrate research, consulting, and action. Bemak and Blechman met with leaders of human service organizations to discuss this endeavor and found full consensus to initiate DRAC at George Mason University. The Center focuses on issues of cultural diversity and provides research, training, consultation, and program evaluation with a wide range of national and international experts.