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Education: Maryland Center for Health Equity

The overarching educational goals of the Maryland Center for Health Equity are to:

  1. Provide opportunities for minority groups and communities to gain knowledge and recognition of why research is conducted, research methods and protections, and benefits for the larger community
  2. Increase the capacity of researchers to effectively develop respectful working relationships with minority communities to aid in recruitment and retention of minorities in their research efforts
  3. Accelerate the professional development of investigators committed to achieving health equity by eliminating health disparities

We work to accomplish these goals through a wide variety of educational and training programs held throughout the country, in venues that include public health conferences, academic institutions and health centers, and community centers.  We periodically host online webinars, and we have a web-based, user-led program designed for people to learn more about research and how to become involved with research.

Building Trust between Minorities and Researchers

The Building Trust initiative aimed to increase the participation of African Americans, Hispanics and other minority populations in public health and biomedical research, including clinical trials; strengthen the capacity of investigators, institutional review board members and other research personnel to work effectively with minority communities; and create a sustainable infrastructure of training and educational initiatives which can be evaluated over time to determine their impact on improving minority participation in research.

National Research Mentor Network (NRMN)

In 2014, The M-CHE joined Boston College, the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW), the University of Minnesota and the University of North Texas in leading a new research mentor and mentee training initiative funded by the NIH National Research Mentor Network (NRMN).

The M-CHE is collaborating specifically with UW as part of the Mentor Training Core (MTC), one of five Cores in the NRMN initiative.  Dr. Thomas serves as a co-core director with Drs. Chris Pfund and Janet Branchaw, both of UW.  Dr. Quinn is a co-investigator on the MTC. 

The Mentor Training Core (MTC) serves as a national hub to prepare mentors and mentees in biomedical research through training, both in-person and online. The MTC establishes and maintains standards and metrics to achieve effective, culturally responsive mentoring relationships.

The mentoring program entails a collaborative learning relationship that proceeds through purposeful stages over time and has the primary goal of helping mentees acquire the essential competencies needed to progress to the next stage of their career in the biomedical or behavioral sciences.

The National Research Mentor Network (NRMN) is a nationwide consortium of biomedical professionals and institutions collaborating to provide enhanced networking and mentorship experiences in support of the training and career development of individuals from groups identified by the NIH* as under-represented in biomedical, behavioral, clinical, and social science research careers.

NRMN is intended to enable mentees across career stages to find effective mentors who will engage in productive, supportive and culturally responsive mentoring relationships.

The Goal of the National Research Mentoring Network is to enhance the diversity of the NIH-funded research workforce.

NRMN consists of five core initiatives, each implemented at one of five collaborating research institutions. The M-CHE is part of the Mentor Training Core.

Learn about NRMN programs for mentors and mentees on the NRMN website.

NRMN was established through funding from a $31 million NIH grant to support the “Enhancing the Diversity of the NIH-Funded Workforce” program, which will develop new approaches to engage diverse researchers in biomedical sciences, and prepare them to thrive in the NIH-funded workforce.

The overall goal of the NRMN is to establish a national network of mentors and mentees through a consortium of research-intensive and minority-serving institutions. Over five years, the M-CHE will share the $2.2 million awarded to UW by the NIH to establish the NRMN Mentor Training Core (MTC), one of five cores in the network. 

What the NMRN Mentor Training Core Does:

  • Provide career-stage appropriate training for mentors and mentees
  • Foster the persistence and success of a diverse group of biomedical researchers, with a specific focus on deepening the alignment and impact of mentoring relationships
  • Employ evidence-based activities to facilitate trusting mentoring relationships that support under-represented minority scholars as they navigate their trajectory toward promotion and tenure

The impetus for the NRMN emerged from the startling findings of a study by Donna Ginther and colleagues, which appeared in a Science magazine article in 2011, and revealed that black applicants are 10 percentage points less likely than whites to be awarded NIH research funding.

The positive effects of mentoring on biomedical research training and career outcomes are well documented. Unfortunately, lack of adequate mentoring programs leaves many mentors ill-equipped to effectively guide underrepresented minority (URM) scholars. The NRMN’s approach is to proactively train mentors who can foster culturally competent mentoring relationships with URM scholars, enhancing their recruitment, advancement and persistence among the ranks of tenured faculty and across the biomedical workforce.

 “Too few traditional mentors have received formal training in how to effectively mentor, and in particular, in mentoring minority scholars. This is an urgent issue.” Stephen Thomas, UMD NRMN associate director “The true mission and the transformative power of the Mentor Training Core is to formally train mentors and mentees to cultivate highly effective mentoring relationships based upon trust and transparency.” Sandra Quinn, UMD NRMN co-investigator.

Drs. Thomas and Quinn are recognized as national leaders in the development of innovative research career training programs culturally tailored for minority scholars including:

  • The Summer Research Career Development Institute at the University of Pittsburgh (2005-2006)
  • The Annual Health Equity Leadership Institute (HELI) (2010- present) conducted in partnership with the UW Collaborative Center for Health Equity, the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, School of Medicine and Public Health and the Maryland Center for Health Equity faculty
  • Additionally, Drs. Thomas and Quinn have led programs at UMD both to train senior faculty to be more effective mentors and to help increase the success of minority junior faculty through efforts including:
  • Master Mentor Training: A program for senior faculty (associate and full professors) experienced in community-engaged research and interested in mentoring junior faculty and post-doctoral fellows. 
  • Advancing Faculty Diversity (AFD): A year-long research career development and leadership training program for UMD tenure-track faculty of color, led by Drs. Thomas and Espry-Wilson, and sponsored by UMD ADVANCE (a program funded by the National Science Foundation to increase the representation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers), the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, and the Office for Faculty Affairs.
  • MyNRMN: a social networking platform for students and researchers to connect with one another.
  • MyMentor, a virtual guided mentorship program
  • Regional programs on grant writing
  • Mentee training workshops to help research mentees maximize the effectiveness of mentoring relationships
  • Mentor/mentee matching based on career level, research interests, and cultural background
  • Trained mentors
  • Video resources featuring topics of professional development, mentoring, training and careers, research seminars and words of wisdom from successful scientists

For a complete list of available resources for both mentees and mentors, visit the NRMN website.

June 13, 2017

Many mentors are not equipped to effectively address cultural diversity matters with mentees.  Yet “All across the academic career stages, science is losing talent.  We’re losing people who come from historically underrepresented backgrounds,” states Sandra Crouse Quinn, PhD, in the first of a two video series from the National Resource Mentoring Network.  In these videos, Quinn and Angela Byars-Winston, PhD, provide knowledge and skills for mentors to improve their ability to address diversity matters with mentees from historically underrepresented backgrounds. 

As noted in the description from iBiomagazine, “In the first video, Byars-Winston and Crouse Quinn discuss how racism and a lack of cultural diversity awareness in mentoring relationships negatively impact trainees from HU backgrounds.”  They note that too many underrepresented faculty are falling out of academia, in part because there are few mentors available who can both guide them through the challenges of being in academia in general as well as the distinct issues of being an underrepresented minority faculty member.  Throughout the first video, Byars-Winston and Quinn offer concrete examples of how culturally aware mentor training helps individuals identify the personal assumptions, biases and privileges that may operate in their research mentoring relationships. Byars-Winston says in the first video, “Mentoring relationships are the critical medium for building the next generation of scientists.  We don’t want to leave such high-stakes relationships to chance.”  This statement leads into the second video, in which Byars-Winston and Crouse Quinn offer mentor training resources and strategies to help individuals become more culturally aware, and thus better mentors. 

Video: Mentor Training to Improve Diversity in Science 1: A Conversation on Culturally Aware Mentoring

Video: Mentor Training to Improve Diversity in Science 2: Resources to Enhance Culturally Aware Mentoring

Dr. Sandra Crouse Quinn is a Professor in the Department of Family Science, Senior Associate Director of the Center for Health Equity at the School of Public Health, University of Maryland at College Park and co-Investigator in the Mentor Training Core of the National Research Mentor Network.  In her role as co-Investigator, she is specifically focused on the development and testing of training programs on Culturally Aware Mentoring

Dr. Angela Byars-Winston is a counseling psychologist and Professor in the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Medicine, and Director of Research and Evaluation in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Women’s Health Research.

Collegium of Scholars

The Collegium of Scholars (COS) was an M-CHE forum that, through a range of activities, engages scholars in the exchange of meaningful discussions regarding the complexities and impact of race, racism, ethnicity, gender, class, and discrimination on health and wellness.

The COS was held on the first Wednesday of each month of the academic year, September through May, from noon to 1:30pm.  While each COS event is unique, the general format is for the featured guest to give a 45-minute presentation followed by 45 minutes of discussion.  The extended discussion period is intentional and allows for a deeper exploration of the topics covered than in the typical 10-15 minute discussion following many presentations. 

  • Wednesday, November 1, 2017
    "The Use of Citizen Science to Increase Environmental Health Literacy”
    Featured Speaker: Dr. Sacoby Wilson, Associate Professor, Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health, UMD School of Public Health
  • Wednesday, March 9, 2016
    “Where Have All the Children Gone?: Findings from the Built Environment and Active Play (BEAP) Study”
    Featured Speaker: Dr. Jennifer D. Roberts, Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology, UMD School of Public Health
  • Wednesday, February 10, 2016
    "Race, Inequality, and School (Dis)Integration: A Call for Community-Based Education Reform"
    Featured Speaker: Dr. Sonya Douglass Horsford, Associate Professor, College of Education and Human Development, George Mason University  
  • Wednesday, December 9, 2015
    “Reducing Risk: Population Health Perspectives on Inflammation Disparities”
    Featured Speaker: Dr. Gniesha Dinwiddie, Assistant Professor, Department of African American Studies, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Wednesday, November 11, 2015
    "From Chronic Disease to “Justifiable Homicides”: The Context of Visible and Invisible Trends in Black Male Health.”
    Featured Speaker: Dr. Keon L. Gilbert, Assistant ProfessorDepartment of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Saint Louis University, College for Public Health and Social Justice      
  • Wednesday, October 14, 2015
    "Preventing Teen Violence: Socializing Influences on Healthy Dating Relationships"
    Featured Speaker: Dr. Katrina Debnam, Assistant Scientist, Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins University, SPH
  • Wednesday, September 9, 2015
    “Sex Trafficking in the Child Welfare System: Toward a Social Determinants of Health Framework”
    Featured Speaker: Dr. Nadine Finigan-Carr, Research Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, University of Maryland, Baltimore 
  • Wednesday, May 13, 2015
    "Sexual Fluidity?: Risk of HIV/AIDS among Black Men Who Have Sex with Men and Women"
    Featured Speaker: Dr. Typhanye P. Dyer, Assistant Professor, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Maryland, College Park   
  • Wednesday, April 8, 2015
    “The Recruitment and Retention of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research”
    Featured Speaker: Dr. Nathan Stinson, Jr., Director for the Division of Scientific Programs, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), NIH  
  • Wednesday, March 11, 2015
    “Global Budgets in Maryland Hospitals: Implications for Readmissions and Ambulatory Care Sensitive Admissions”
    Featured Speaker: Dr. Karoline Mortensen, Assistant Professor, Department of Health Services Administration, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Wednesday, February 11, 2015
    “Being a Vegan is Easy. All you have to do is…: Food Policing and Food Shaming in Black Communities"
    Featured Speaker: Dr. Psyche Williams-Forson, Associate Professor, Department of American Studies, University of Maryland, College Park 
  • Wednesday, December 12, 2014
    “Model Minority??: Randomized Controlled Trial Interventions to Reduce Cancer Disparities among Asian Americans”
    Featured Speaker: Dr. Sunmin Lee, Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Maryland, College Park    
  • Wednesday,  November 8, 2014
    "I’m on Papers": Synthetic Cannabinoid Use among Violently Injured Young Black Men”
    Featured Speaker: Dr. Joseph Richardson, Jr., Associate Professor, Department of African American Studies, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Wednesday, October 8, 2014
    “Smoke What?”: The Intersection of Tobacco and Marijuana Use among Urban Youth”​
    Featured Speaker: Dr. Craig S. Fryer, Assistant Professor, Behavioral and Community Health, Associate Director, Maryland Center for Health Equity
  • Wednesday, September 10, 2014
    "Health Issues among Mexican Guest Workers: a Historical Examination of the Bracero Program"
    Featured Speaker: Dr. Chantel Rodriguez, Miller Fellow in History, Department of History, University of Maryland
  • Wednesday, May 14, 2014
    “Task-Shifting: A Method to Improve Child Behavior in Family-level Interventions"
    Featured Speaker: Dr. Geetha Gopalan, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, University of Maryland, Baltimore 
  • Monday, April 21, 2014
    Shorter Lives, Poorer Health: The U.S. Health Disadvantage Relative to Other Affluent Countries"
    Featured Speaker: Dr. Paula Braveman, Professor of Family and Community Medicine, Director of the Center on Social Disparities in Health, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
  • Wednesday, March 12, 2014 
    “The Untold Story of the Black Middle Class: Single and Living Alone"
    Featured Speaker: Dr. Kris Marsh, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Wednesday, February 12, 2014
    “Black Women and the Issue of Weight: When Race, Place, Gender, and Body Image Converge on Physical Activity"
    Featured Speaker: Dr. Rashawn Ray, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Wednesday, December 11, 2013 
    "Race and the Graveyard: How Racism Shapes Patterns in Disease and Mortality"
    Featured Speaker: Dr. David H. Chae, Assistant Professor, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Maryland
  • Wednesday, November 13, 2013 
    "I Need Help, But I Don't Know How To Say It: Understanding the Mental Health Helping-Seeking Experiences of Adolescent and Young Adult Black Males"
    Featured Speaker: Dr. Michael A. Lindsey, Associate Professor, School of Social Work, University of Maryland, Baltimore
  • Wednesday, October 9, 2013 
    "Urban American Indian Female Youths' Constructions and Lived Experiences of Health, the Body, and Exercise"
    Featured Speaker: Dr. Shannon Jette, Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology, School of Public Health
  • Wednesday, September 11, 2013
    "Building Trust Between Minorities and Researchers: A Web-Based Interactive Educational Program"
    Featured Speakers: Dr. Sandra C. Quinn Senior Associate Director, 
    Maryland Center for Health Equity, Professor, Family Science; Dr. Stephen B. Thomas, Director, Maryland Center for Health Equity, Professor, Health Services Administration



Health Equity Leadership Institute (HELI)

For the eighth year, the faculty of the Maryland Center for Health Equity partnered with the UW-Madison Collaborative Center for Health Equity to offer the Annual Health Equity Leadership Institute (HELI) June 11-15, 2018 on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Drs. Stephen Thomas, Sandra Quinn, and Craig Fryer led specific components of the week-long institute.  Aimed at under-represented scholars at the level of post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty and other scholars committed to health equity research, this intensive week focused on research, career development, and the issues experienced by young scholars. 

The Health Equity Leadership Institute (HELI) is an intensive week-long “research boot camp” offered by the collaborative efforts of the MCHE and the Collaborative Center for Health Equity at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Since its inception in 2010, HELI has become an annual summer educational event, focused on increasing the number of investigators, particularly minority investigators, engaged in health disparities and health equity research.  The goal is to increase the likelihood these scholars will be successful in tenure track academic appointments in schools of public health, medicine and other social and behavioral science disciplines. 

Each year, up to 30 scholars are invited to participate. Through presentations by health equity researchers, visits to community partner research sites, and large and small group sessions, HELI scholars receive career guidance, professional networking opportunities, manuscript and grant writing support and mock study sessions, as well as tips for mentor selection and work/life balance. 

The HELI program is offered at no registration cost to participants and lodging is provided. Sholars are responsible for travel costs and some meals, and are encouraged to explore funding sources within their own institutions.

To learn more about HELI, read our 2017 pulication in The Journal of Clinical and Translational Science, The Health Equity Leadership Institute (HELI): Developing workforce capacity for health disparities research. For additional information and to hear from some of our HELI alum, please visit:

The Health Equity Leadership Institute is made possible through support of the Dean of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN).

View the Health Equity Leadership Institute 2014 Photo Gallery.

HELI Video Gallery

The annual Health Equity Leadership Institute (HELI) is a weeklong “research boot camp” focused on increasing the number of investigators, particularly minority investigators, engaged in health disparities research to achieve health equity. HELI reflects an important academic consortium between two NIH funded Centers of Excellence: CCHE and the Center for Health Equity at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. HELI targets junior faculty in an effort to increase the likelihood of their promotion and tenure at health science research institutions.

Thank you to those who offered their perspective about the value of HELI in 2014.

Video produced by Emily Julka.

Thank you to those who offered their perspective about the value of HELI in 2015!

Video produced by Emily Julka.

Public Health Critical Race Praxis Institute

In 2010, Chandra Ford and Collins Airhihenbuwa urged the field of public health toward new ground in their “Critical Race Theory, Race Equity, and Public Health: Toward Antiracism Praxis” published in the American Journal of Public Health. In February 2014, the Maryland Center for Health Equity held the inaugural PHCRP Institute, which offered a firm step onto that new ground for scholars and researchers interested in using the principles of Critical Race Praxis.

PHCRPI core faculty included Chandra Ford (University of California Los Angeles), Collins Airhihenbuwa (Pennsylvania State University), and the faculty team from the Maryland Center for Health Equity (University of Maryland) including James Butler, Craig Fryer, Mary Garza, Sandra Crouse Quinn and Stephen Thomas. 

What is Critical Race Theory?

Critical race theory (CRT) is an iterative methodology for helping investigators remain attentive to equity while carrying out research, scholarship, and practice.  CRT incorporates the four basic features of race consciousness, contemporary orientation, centering in the margins rather than in the mainstream, and praxis (i.e., theory-informed action).

The institute included a combination of didactic and interactive components including small group work and a cultural experience that encouraged the exploration of race and racism in contemporary America.  The primary focuses of the PHCRI were:

  • The fundamentals of Critical Race Theory (CRT)
  • The fundamentals of Public Health Critical Race Praxis (PHCRP)
  • Application of PHCRP to ongoing or proposed empirical research
  • Dissemination of findings from PHCRP Research


  • Winston Abara, PhD, MBBS
    (404) 756-8841

    My research primarily focuses on the primary prevention of HIV/AIDS, social determinants of health and HIV/AIDS disparities, and correlates of sexual risk among racial and sexual minorities, marginalized groups, and older (≥50 years) populations. I also have an emerging interest in health policy and its influence on access to treatment and healthcare among people living with HIV/AIDS. I am currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Morehouse School of Medicine.

  • Ndidiamaka Amutah, PhD, MPH

    I am an Assistant Professor at Montclair State University in the Department of Health and Nutrition Sciences. I focus on mixed methods research around HIV prevention in African American adolescent girls, HIV medication adherence in women of color, and how the social determinants of health impact infant mortality in women of color. I am also a Visiting Research Scientist affiliated with the Yale University Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS. I am also an alumna of the Kellogg Community Health Scholars Program and was a post-doctoral fellow at Morgan State University.
  • Natasha A. Brown PhD, MPH
    (336) 334-3397

    I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. I received my Ph.D. in social and behavioral sciences from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and completed a postdoctoral training program focused on bioethics and community-engaged health disparities research at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. I have expertise in using qualitative methods to examine sociocultural influences on dietary and physical activity decisionmaking. My current research investigates urban-rural differences in extended family influences on African American children’s weight-related behaviors.
  • Typhanye Penniman Dyer, PhD, MPH
    (301) 405-8547

    I am a research assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at The University of Maryland School of Public Health. My research interests include exploring social, cultural and structural determinants of infectious disease disparities. Specifically, my research explores HIV/AIDS disparities, sexuality, mental health, and substance use with an emphasis in racial/ethnic and gender disparities among marginalized populations, as well as their families. Research in HIV/AIDS also examines syndemics and HIV prevalence among Black men who have sex with men and women (MSMW), and how sex and drug risk networks of MSMW translates into risk for their male and female partners. Additionally, areas of research include exploring stigma, engagement in HIV care and medication adherence among Black women living with HIV. Population based research takes an interdisciplinary approach involving social epidemiology and community-based research to reduce health disparities.
  • LeConté J. Dill, DrPH, MPH
    (718) 270-4386 

    I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the School of Public Health at the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center. I received my DrPH from the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health, and completed the postdoctoral Health Policy Leadership Fellowship at the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine. As a community-engaged, qualitative researcher, I focus on the relationship between adolescent development and processes of the built and social environment, such as gentrification, foreclosures, and violence. My recent work investigates how youth in distressed neighborhoods navigate through them safely.
  • Rachel R. Hardeman, PhD, MPH
    (763) 227-3101

    I received my Ph.D. in Health Services Research Policy & Administration from the University of Minnesota, School of Public Health. I also hold an MPH in Public Health Administration and Policy. I am currently a Postdoctoral Trainee in Health Services Research at the Minneapolis VA Health Care System. I am interested in the application of intersectionality theory to health disparities research. My current research focuses on the ways in which socioeconomic status; race and gender affect medical education. I also conduct research related to disparities in women’s reproductive health, particularly the role of non-traditional medical personnel (doulas and midwives) in improving adverse birth outcomes for women of color.
  • Anika L. Hines, PhD, MPH
    (757) 343-3946 

    I am currently a Research Leader at Truven Health Analytics. I received my PhD from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and an MPH from the Yale School of Public Health. I currently serve as a task leader on various healthcare quality and disparities research and information-transfer projects, including statistical briefs, research manuscripts, and web tool design. My ongoing research has focused on disparities in mental healthcare, including the influence of patients’ perceptions of mental health conditions, patients’ preferences for care, and communication with providers regarding depression treatment.
  • Shannon Jette, PhD
    (301) 405-2497 

    Dr, Jette is an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology. Her research focuses on socio-cultural aspects of health, physical activity, gender and the body, with a particular interest in health disparities experienced by marginalized communities. She uses a range of qualitative research methodologies (including media and discourse analysis, in-depth interviews, ethnographic techniques) and social theory to critically examine the power relations at play in the production, dissemination and interpretation of knowledge in the disciplines of kinesiology and public health. Her current research focuses upon how various groups of women that are considered ‘at risk’ in the context of the obesity epidemic understand dominant messages about health, as well as how they experience health, physical activity and weight gain in their everyday lives. The goal of her research is to provide insight into the complex intersection of race, gender, and social class in shaping women’s health in order to better inform health care policy and programming. Dr. Jette has published in such journals as Qualitative Health Research, Journal of Aging Studies and Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine.
  • Vera Lopez, PhD
    (602) 796-3999

    I received my Ph.D. in school psychology from the University of Texas at Austin, completed my clinical internship at the Institute for Juvenile Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and completed a postdoctoral training program at Arizona State University’s Prevention Research Center. I am currently an associate professor in the School of Social Transformation at ASU. My research areas include sexual risk taking, substance abuse, and prevention research with a major focus on adolescent girls and Latino/a youth.

  • Dara Mendez, PhD, MPH
    (919) 724-6250 

    I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at University of Pittsburgh. I earned my MPH and PhD at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in Maternal and Child Health and Epidemiology. I am a perinatal and social epidemiologist with expertise and background in social and racial inequities related to maternal and child health. My work explores how stress, neighborhood contexts, racism and other forms of discrimination lead to racial/ethnic health inequities in pregnancy/birth outcomes and body weight among women..In addition to my academic work, I serve as Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Women’s Health Network based in Washington, DC.
  • Krista D. Mincey, DrPH, MPH
    (504) 520-5702 

    I am an Assistant Professor at Xavier University of Louisiana, Department of Public Health Sciences. My research focuses on Black men’s health, particularly the elements (masculinity, relationships, education, etc.) that impact the health and health behaviors of Black men. I am particularly interested in the health of Black male college students
  • Dawne Marie Mouzon, PhD, MPH
    (848) 932-2969

    I am an Assistant Professor at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Trained as a quantitative sociologist, my research focuses on the “Black-White paradox in mental health,” or the unexpected finding that Black Americans exhibit better mental health outcomes than Whites despite lower socioeconomic standing and greater exposure to discrimination. I also examine race and social class differences in the mental health benefits of marriage and the social-structural causes (and mental health implications) of the Black marriage decline.
  • Rashawn Ray, PhD
    (301) 405-9581

    I am an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park. I received my Ph.D. in Sociology from Indiana University in 2010. From 2010-2012 I was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Research Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley/UCSF. My research addresses the mechanisms that manufacture and maintain racial and social inequality. My work also speaks to ways that inequality may be attenuated through racial uplift activism and social policy. Broadly, my research interests include social psychology, race and ethnic relations, and race-class-gender focusing on three key areas: the determinants and consequences of social class identification, men’s treatment of women, and how racial stratification structures social life. I edited Race and Ethnic Relations in the 21st Century: History, Theory, Institutions, and Policy and my work has appeared in Ethnic and Racial Studies, American Behavioral Scientist, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Journal of Higher Education, and Journal of African American Studies. I have been awarded funding from the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Mental Health, American Sociological Association Minority Fellowship Program, Society for the Study of Social Problems, and the Ford Foundation.
  • Brandon N. Respress, PhD, RN, MSN, MPH, PNP
    (216) 202-4372 

    I completed my PhD in Nursing from Case Western Reserve University, and a dual Master’s in Nursing and Public Health from The Ohio State University with a concentration in Pediatrics and Health Services Management and Policy. My research is focused on understanding effects of discrimination, prejudice and racism, as social determinants, on adolescent risk behaviors and mental health outcomes. I utilize the Social Determinants of Adolescent Risk Behaviors model to explore the interrelationships among sociological factors and individual behaviors to understand mental health disparities among adolescents utilizing community-based participatory research (CBPR) and mixed methodology.
  • Lynn Roberts, PhD
    (212) 396-7742 

    I hold a PhD in Human Services Studies (Program Evaluation/Public Policy) from Cornell University. I am an Assistant Professor in the CUNY School of Public Health and affiliated faculty in Women and Gender Studies at Hunter College. In previous positions, I oversaw the development, implementation and evaluation of several programs for women and youth in New York City. My current scholarship examines the intersection of race, class and gender in adolescent dating relationships, juvenile justice and reproductive health policies; as well as the impact of models of collaborative inquiry and teaching on civic and political engagement.
  • Marta Sánchez, PhD
    (919) 681-6365 

    I am a Research Scientist at the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University, where I conduct educational research, advise students on research, and participate in interinstitutional research teams to develop proposals and studies. I contribute with expertise in interdisciplinary approaches, qualitative and participatory research designs, conceptual, theoretical and research perspectives on the Latino/a experience, including CRT and LatCrit; knowledge of additive models of schooling for Latino/as, Latina cultural intuition and embeddedness in Latino/a communities. My primary focus is the Mexican experience.
  • Abigail A. Sewell, PhD

    Abigail Sewell is a Postdoctoral Fellow for Academic Diversity in the Population Studies Center at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Emory University (deferred). Her research examines the political economy of health disparities, the critical bioethics informing blacks’ view of physicians, and quantitative approaches for studying institutional racism. Her research has been published in the International Journal of Intercultural Relations, the Journal of Negro Education, and Rethinking Race and Ethnicity in Research Methods (edited by John H. Stanfield). Her work has garnered both quantitative and qualitative paper awards and received support through the Office of Vice Provost for Research at the University of Pennsylvania, a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, and the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute for Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity (UC Berkeley’s Boalt School of Law). She graduated with a Ph.D. and M.A. in Sociology from Indiana University and summa cum laude with a B.A. in Sociology (Minors in Women’s Studies and English) from the University of Florida. She has taught at Indiana University, the Universität of Mannheim (Germany), and the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) Summer Program in Quantitative Methods for Social Research.
  • Ida Johnson Spruill, PhD, RN, FAAN
    (843) 792-3873 

    I am an Associate Professor and Diversity Officer at Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) College of Nursing. I completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Iowa in Clinical Genetics. I received my PhD from Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia. My research interests include, management of chronic diseases health and genetic literacy, and reducing health disparities among marginalized groups. I was awarded my first R01 in 2012 from NIH-NINR,“Ethno-Cultural barriers to health literacy and disease management. Most recently, I received the 2012 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).
  • Angela Sun, PhD, MPH
    (415) 926-8069 

    Dr. Angela Sun is the Executive Director the Chinese Community Health Resource Center (CCHRC) and has been serving the Asian American community for over 20 years. She dedicated her professional career to identify, develop, implement, and evaluate effective health communication strategies for the immigrant communities. CCHRC’s mission is to build a healthy community through culturally competent preventive health, disease management, and research programs. CCHRC has come to be recognized as a leader in providing culturally competent health education programs for the underserved communities. Dr. Sun also served as a Principal Investigator for numerous community-based participatory research projects and authored many publications.
  • Robert W. Turner II, PhD
    (646) 234-5388 

    I am a Research Associate in the African American Studies Department at the University of Maryland, College Park. I earned a PhD in sociology at the Graduate Center, CUNY. My scholarly interests include applying an interdisciplinary approach to investigate social inequality and health disparities. Over the past 8 years I have focused on examining the social worlds of black men and in particular, on athletes that view sports as a means for upward mobility. My passion for this nuanced examination of institutions, masculinity, race, life course, and health outcomes, originates, in part, from my personal experience as a former professional football player.
  • Sacoby Wilson, PhD, MS
    (30) 405-3136 

    I am an Assistant Professor with the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health, School of Public Health, University of Maryland. I am Director of the Program on Community Engagement, Environmental Justice and Health (CEEJH). I focus on studying and understanding environmental injustice and environmental health disparities through community-university partnerships and community-based participatory research (CBPR). I am currently working to understand exposure and health risks for urban fishers and recreationalists in the Anacostia river region. I lead NIH funded projects to understand and address exposure to environmental stressors in Metropolitan Charleston and environmental health disparities in the state of South Carolina.
  • Staci A. Young, PhD
    (414) 955.8868

    I am an Assistant Professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Department of Family & Community Medicine, with a secondary appointment in the Institute for Health and Society. I am a medical sociologist that uses qualitative methodology to investigate how health organizations and systems influence provider behaviors and health outcomes. My research interests include health professions advocacy for vulnerable patients and populations, the organization of work among health professionals in traditional and community-based clinical settings, and the relationship between the urban environment, acute and chronic life stressors, and health status.

Toward a fourth generation of disparities research to achieve health equity 
Thomas SB, Quinn SC, Butler J, Fryer CS, Garza MA (2011). 
Annual Review of Public Health, 32: 399-416

Achieving health equity, driven by the elimination of health disparities, is a goal of Healthy People 2020. In recent decades, the improvement in health status has been remarkable for the U.S. population as a whole. However, racial and ethnic minority populations continue to lag behind whites with a quality of life diminished by illness from preventable chronic diseases and a life span cut short by premature death. We examine a conceptual framework of three generations of health disparities research to understand (a) data trends, (b) factors driving disparities, and (c) solutions for closing the gap. We propose a new, fourth generation of research grounded in public health critical race praxis, utilizing comprehensive interventions to address race, racism, and structural inequalities and advancing evaluation methods to foster our ability to eliminate disparities. This new generation demands that we address the researcher's own biases as part of the research process.

Critical Race Theory, Race Equity, and PublicHealth: Toward Antiracism Praxis
Chandra L. Ford, PhD, and Collins O. Airhihenbuwa, PhD
Am J Public Health. 2010;100: S30–S35. doi:10.2105/AJPH. 2009.171058    

Racial scholars argue that    racism produces rates of morbidity, mortality, and overall well-being that vary depending on socially assigned race. Eliminating racism is therefore central to achieving health equity, but this requires new paradigms that are responsive to structural racism’s contemporary influence on health, health inequities, and research. Critical Race Theory is an emerging transdisciplinary, race-equity methodology that originated in legal studies and is grounded insocialjustice. CriticalRace Theory’s tools for conducting research and practice are intended to elucidate contemporary racial phenomena, expand the vocabulary with which to discuss complex racial concepts, and challenge racial hierarchies. We introduceCritical Race Theory to the public health community, highlight key Critical Race Theory characteristics (race consciousness, emphases on contemporary societal dynamics and socially marginalized groups, and praxis between research and practice) and describe Critical Race Theory’s contributionto a studyonracism and HIV testing among African Americans.

The public health critical race methodology: Praxis for antiracism research
​​​​Chandra L. Forda, Collins O. Airhihenbuwa 
Social Science & Medicine 71 (2010) 1390e1398

The number of studies targeting racial health inequities and the capabilities for measuring racism effectshave grown substantially in recent years. Still, the need remains for a public health framework that moves beyond merely documenting disparities toward eliminating them. Critical Race Theory (CRT) has been the dominant influence on racial scholarship since the 1980s; however, its jurisprudential origins have, until now, limited its application to public health research. To improve the ease and fidelity with which health equity research applies CRT, this paper introduces the Public Health Critical Race praxis (PHCR). PHCR aids the study of contemporary racial phenomena, illuminates disciplinary conventions that may inadvertently reinforce social hierarchies and offers tools for racial equity approaches to knowledge production.

Does Racism Harm Health? Did Child Abuse Exist Before 1962? On Explicit Questions, Critical Science, and Current Controversies: An Ecosocial Perspective
Nancy Krieger, PhD
American Journal of Public Health | February 2003, Vol 93, No. 2

Research on racism as a harmful determinant of population health is in its infancy. Explicitly naming a long-standing problem long recognized by those affected, this work has the potential to galvanize inquiry and action, much as the 1962 publication of the Kempe et al. scientific article on the “battered child syndrome” dramatically increased attention to—and prompted new research on— the myriad consequences of child abuse, a known yet neglected social phenomenon. To further work on connections between racism and health, the author addresses 3 interrelated issues: (1) links between racism, biology, and health; (2) methodological controversies over how to study the impact of racism on health; and (3) debates over whether racism or class underlies racial/ethnic disparities in health

The Problem With the Phrase Women and Minorities: Intersectionality— an Important Theoretical Framework for Public Health
Lisa Bowleg, PhD
Am J Public Health. 2012;102:1267–1273. doi:10. 2105/AJPH.2012.300750

Intersectionality is a theoretical framework that posits that multiple social categories (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ocioeconomic status) intersect at the micro level of individual experience to reflect multiple interlocking systems of privilege and oppression at the macro, social-structural level (e.g., racism, sexism, heterosexism). Public health’s commitment to social justicemakes it a natural fit with intersectionality’s focus on multiple historically oppressed populations. Yet despite a plethora of research focused on these populations, public health studies that reflect intersectionality in their theoretical frameworks, designs, analyses, or interpretations are rare. Accordingly, I describe the history and central tenets of intersectionality, address some theoretical and methodological challenges, and highlight the benefits of intersectionality for public health theory, research, and policy.

Why Culture Matters in Health Interventions: Lessons From HIV/AIDS Stigma and NCD
Collins O. Airhihenbuwa, PhD, MPH, Chandra L. Ford, PhD, and Juliet I. Iwelunmor, PhD

Theories about health behavior are commonly used in public health and often frame problems as ascribed or related to individuals’ actions or inaction. This framing suggests that poor health occurs because individuals are unable or unwilling to heed preventive messages or recommended treatment actions. The recent United Nations call for strategies to reduce the global disease burden of noncommunicable diseases like diabetes requires a reassessment of individual-based approaches to behavior change. We argue that public health and health behavior intervention should focus more on culture than behavior to achieve meaningful and sustainable change resulting in positive health outcomes. To change negative health behaviors, one must first identify and promote positive health behaviors within the cultural logic of its contexts. To illustrate these points, we discuss stigma associated with obesity and human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immune deficiency syndrome. We conclude that focusing on positive behaviors and sustaining cultural and personal transformations requires a culturally grounded approach to public health interventions, such as that provided by the PEN-3 model.

Framing the impact of culture on health: a systematic review of the PEN-3 cultural model and its application in public health research and interventions
Juliet Iwelunmor, Valerie Newsome, & Collins O. Airhihenbuwa


Scholar Recomended Resources

Eight Americas: Investigating Mortality Disparities across Races, Counties, and Race-Counties in the United States 
Christopher J. L. Murray, Sandeep C. Kulkarni, Catherine Michaud, Niels Tomijima, Maria T. Bulzacchelli3, Terrell J. Iandiorio, Majid Ezzati

On Being Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable: Centering an Africanist Vision in Our Gateway to Global Health
Collins O. Airhihenbuwa, PhD, MPH

Eliminating Health Disparities in the African American Population: The Interface of Culture, Gender, and Power
Collins O. Airhihenbuwa and Leandris Liburd

Racism Is Here To Stay: Now What?
Derrick A. Bell

Derrick A. Bell

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva

Anything but racism: how sociologists limit the significance of racism
Eduardo Bonilla-Silva , Gianpaolo Baiocchi

We are all Americans!: the Latin Americanization of racial stratification in the USA
Eduardo Bonilla-Silva

Critical Race Theory Speaks to the Sociology of Mental Health: Mental Health Problems Produced by Racial Stratification
Tony N. Brown

Characterizing researchers by strategies used for retaining minority participants: Results of a national survey
James Butler III, Sandra C. Quinn, Craig S. Fryer , Mary A. Garza, Kevin H. Kim, Stephen B. Thomas

Discrimination, Racial Bias, and Telomere Length in African-American Men
David H. Chae, ScD, MA, Amani M. Nuru-Jeter, PhD, Nancy E. Adler, PhD, Gene H. Brody, PhD, Jue Lin, PhD, Elizabeth H. Blackburn, PhD, Elissa S. Epel, PhD

Gender, Race, Class and Health
Amy J Schulz, Leith Mullings

Critical Race Theory, Race Equity, and Public Health: Toward Antiracism Praxis
Chandra L. Ford, PhD, and Collins O. Airhihenbuwa, PhD

The public health critical race methodology: Praxis for antiracism research
Chandra L. Ford, Collins O. Airhihenbuwa

Black Sexuality, Social Construction, and Research Targeting ‘The Down Low’ (‘The DL’)

A new conceptualization of ethnicity for social epidemiologic and health equity research
Chandra L. Ford, Nina T Harawa

Perceived Everyday Racism, Residential Segregation, and HIV Testing Among Patients at a Sexually Transmitted Disease Clinic
Chandra L. Ford, PhD, MPH, MLIS, Mark Daniel, PhD, Jo Anne L. Earp, ScD, Jay S. Kaufman, PhD, Carol E. Golin, MD, and William C. Miller MD, PhD, MPH 

Gilbert C. Gee, Chandra L. Ford

Critical race theory as theoretical framework and analysis tool for population health research
Louis Grahama, Shelly Brown-Jeffy, Robert Aronson and Charles Stephens 

Community-Based Organizational Capacity Building as a Strategy to Reduce Racial Health Disparities
Derek M. Griffith, Julie Ober Allen, E. Hill DeLoney, Kevin Robinson, E. Yvonne Lewis, Bettina Campbell , Susan Morrel-Samuels, Arlene Sparks, Marc A. Zimmerman, Thomas Reischl 

Dismantling institutional racism: theory and action
Derek M. Griffith, Mondi Mason, Michael Yonas, Eugenia Eng, Vanessa Jeffries, Suzanne Plihcik , Barton Parks

Cheryl I. Harris

There’s no kind of respect here” A qualitative study of racism and access to maternal health care among Romani women in the Balkans
Teresa Janevic, Pooja Sripad, Elizabeth Bradley and Vera Dimitrievska

Levels of Racism: A Theoretic Framework and a Gardener’s Tale
Camara Phyllis Jones, MD, MPH, PhD

Camara Phyllis Jones,MD, MPH, PhD; Benedict I. Truman,MD, MPH; Laurie D. Elam-Evans, PhD, MPH; Camille A. Jones, MD, MPH; Clara Y. Jones, MD,MPH; Ruth Jiles, PhD; Susan F. Rumisha, MSc; Geraldine S. Perry, DrPH

Confronting Institutionalized Racism
Camara Phyllis Jones, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D

Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color
Kimberle Crenshaw

Does Racism Harm Health? Did Child Abuse Exist Before 1962? On Explicit Questions, Critical Science, and Current Controversies: An Ecosocial Perspective
Originally published as: Nancy Krieger, PhD. Does Racism Harm Health? Did Child Abuse Exist Before 1962?

Reinventing the Color Line Immigration and America's New Racial/Ethnic Divide
Jennifer Lee, Frank D. Bean

CAN’T BUY ME WHITENES: New Lessons from the Titanic on Race, Ethnicity, and Health
Jay A. Pearson

Debating the Cause of Health Disparities: Implications for Bioethics and Racial Equality

Russell K. Robinson

Identifying Racial Privilege: Lessons from Critical Race Theory and the Law
Naomi Seiler

Critical Race Methodology: Counter-Storytelling as an Analytical Framework for Education Research
Daniel G. Solórzano and Tara J. Yosso

Toward a Fourth Generation of Disparities Research to Achieve Health Equity
Stephen B. Thomas, Sandra Crouse Quinn, James Butler, Craig S. Fryer, and Mary A. Garza

Camara Phyllis Jones, MD, MPH, PhD; Benedict I. Truman, MD, MPH; Laurie D. Elam-Evans, PhD, MPH; Camille A. Jones, MD, MPH; Clara Y. Jones, MD, MPH; Ruth Jiles, PhD; Susan F. Rumisha, MSc; Geraldine S. Perry, DrPH

More than culture: Structural racism, intersectionality theory, and immigrant health
Edna A. Viruell-Fuentes, Patricia Y. Miranda , Sawsan Abdulrahim

“IT’S A LOT OF WORK” Racialization Processes, Ethnic Identity Formations, and Their Health Implications
Edna A. Viruell-Fuentes

Mentor Training

In partnership with the Office of the Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs, in late 2013 the Maryland Center for Health Equity offered its first mentor training program for senior faculty (associate and full professors) experienced in community engaged research and interested in mentoring junior faculty and post-doctoral fellows. 

The curriculum, developed by the University of Wisconsin Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (UW ICTR), focuses on training the mentors of community engaged researchers whose work is conducted with the input and, in some cases, the direct and full participation of community members. The program was by experienced researchers and mentors, Dr. Stephen Thomas and Dr. Ruth Zambrana, Director of the Consortium on Race, Gender, and Ethnicity and Professor of Women’s Studies in the Maryland Population Research Center.

Participants in the program:

  • Received resources on how to be a more effective research mentor
  • Discussed mentoring challenges among peers
  • Developed their mentoring philosophy
  • Took a reflective approach to mentoring
  • Shared best mentoring practices
  • Accessed relevant readings and example templates to structure mentoring relationships 

Research Mentor Training

In 2003, the Wisconsin Program for Scientific Teaching at the University of Wisconsin—Madison launched an effort through the support of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to train future biology faculty to become more effective research mentors. Over the next three years, cohorts of biology graduate students, post-docs and faculty met to discuss mentoring challenges and solutions, generating case studies and discussion questions along the way. Following evaluation and revision, these discussion materials were used to create the research mentor training seminar known as the Wisconsin Mentoring Seminar.