Approximately 40 million immigrants live in the U.S.
- It is estimated that one in five persons living in the U.S. is a first or second generation migrant.
- Approximately 3.1% of the world's population or 1 of every 33 people is a migrant.
- By 2020 immigrant children and adolescents will account for one-third of the U.S. population.
- It is estimated that there are 42 million refugees worldwide. Further estimates indicate 25 million environmental migrants or refugees.
- There are an estimated 2.5 million trafficked persons.
Throughout the United States, the globe, and Northern Virginia there are numerous public and private human service organizations and non-governmental organizations that serve ethnically and racially diverse populations. Many of these organizations work relatively independently and carry out their work without the ability to learn or collaborate with other regional, national, or international organizations doing similar work with different racial and ethnic 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 the Diversity & Research in Action Center (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.