About Us

Welcome to the Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy (RISEP)

The Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy (RISEP) is the Labor Center’s bridge between the academic and research world and the community. RISEP’s mission is to work on issues that improve the lives of working people and their families, with a special emphasis on low wage workers, immigrants, and marginalized and vulnerable populations. While RISEP has a broad national and international scope, we maintain a specialized focus on Florida, the regional south, and the Caribbean and Latin America. RISEP employs a three prong strategy to approach this work. These three prongs are:

1) Conducting non-partisan social science, law, and policy research on issues that impact low-wage, immigrant, marginalized, and middle income workers and their families. RISEP’s research contributes to ongoing discussions about labor market, unregulated and low-wage work, low wage and immigrant worker employment trajectories, poverty, microentrepreneurship, job quality, workforce development, high road development, housing, health care, immigration, marginalization, social and political inequalities, the impact of climate change on jobs and economic development, developing industries and sectors, and the future of work. Our research helps develop informed local, state, and federal policy and advocacy efforts and serves as the basis for empowerment and organizing efforts that increase proactive community engagement in public, public education on key issues.

2) Serving the research and support needs of social justice, community, and labor organizations. We do this providing research, technical support, strategic guidance, and organizational and capacity support to partnering organizations to assist in their efforts to contribute to social change. As such, RISEP’s work is closely aligned closely with on-the-ground organizing, advocacy, and policy efforts, the institute often working to provide facts, figures, and information to these organizations about issues that impact the lives of working people.

3) Building Community Collaboration. Central to RISEP’s work is supporting and facilitating increased collaboration among, and expanding and strengthening networks of, workers, organizers, community leaders, organized and alternative labor, policymakers, and government, to address the issues facing working people today. We believe that bringing key people and organizations together through research, convenings, working groups, and coalition building efforts and activities, benefits us all by enabling us to share knowledge, strategies, and experiences from the field and create opportunities for collaboration and network building around key initiatives. We are linked to south Florida, statewide, regional, and national level movements through collaborations with our local community based partners, several of which have launched campaigns linked to national social justice movements.