Current Projects

Ongoing works and partnerships.

Equity in Policy

Healing Justice

Community Research Ethics​

Our Framework

Institute for Healing Justice and Equity Projects:


· RWJF/Policies for Action: Equity Tools

· Racism as Public Health

· The Justice Fleet

· Shut It Down

· MFH: Learning from COVID

· Barbershop Project

· STL Racial Equity Fund

· Wage Pass Thru


Policies in Action: Are Cities and Counties Ready to Use Racial Equity Tools to Influence Policy?

Amid a growing national conversation on equity and social justice, city and county governments are using tools to identify racial and ethnic disparities in their communities. These insights can then inform the development and implementation of laws and policies designed to minimize disparities and maximize positive impacts on racial and ethnic minorities.


Working closely with the tool developers, the research team will identify characteristics of cities and counties that have adopted racial equity tools, as well as their stages of readiness for law and policy change. The team will assess the type(s) of equity tool(s) being used, tool source, duration of tool use, community engagement, focus of law and policy changes, and advocacy strategies for law and policy change. In the second phase of the project, the team will conduct four in-depth case studies on a selected city or county’s stage of readiness to change, adoption process of racial equity tools, and influence of racial equity tool adoption on law and policy changes.


*A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Program

Racism Is a Public Health Crisis

In partnership with The Justice Collaborative Institute, the Institute for Healing Justice and Equity published a report in September 2020 that investigates the laws and policies contributing to significant health disparities among minority groups. The report also includes a series of recommendations for local governments in order to overcome racism in their communities through healing justice practices.

The Justice Fleet

The Justice Fleet is a mobile network of experiences that foster community healing through art, play and dialogue. Housed inside of box trucks, each mobile exhibit ventures into various neighborhoods to engage community members in discussions about implicit and explicit bias, social justice and empathy. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, faculty successfully converted this program into an all-digital experience for participants.

Shut It Down

The Shut It Down initiative provides racial equity and implicit bias education for teachers, so that they are better able to work with students who have experienced trauma or severe stress in their lives outside of the classroom. The goal is to foster the development of safe and supportive school environments that create opportunities for students to improve educationally while minimizing the need for the kinds of school disciplinary practices, like suspensions, that can lead to worse outcomes for kids, in school and beyond.

Learning From COVID-19: Generating Actions to Achieve Health Equity

COVID-19 is presenting unprecedented challenges to our state, our nation, and our world. Within the US, it illuminates the enormous deficiencies in our clinical, public health, and economic infrastructures, and magnifies existing racial and economic inequities. It also impels us to ask ourselves what makes a healthy society and what we need to do to bolster our public institutions, policies, and structures to enable us to respond more effectively in times of crisis. Our transdisciplinary, mixed method case-study approach will look to:


· understand the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable communities and how can we modify our systems, structures, and policies to better respond to this and future pandemics (including collaboration with communities and across sectors with regard to the collection and sharing of data, and our use of technology).

· understand the core priorities of key stakeholders, especially those serving vulnerable communities, to develop a comprehensive and strategic approach to reduce the burden of COVID-19, and

· leverage partnerships and assets that will ignite a multi-sector community mitigation plan that addresses social and behavioral determinants of health related to COVID-19-inequities

St. Louis Racial Healing Fund

The Institute is one of 10 initial, contributing organizations to the St. Louis Racial Equity Fund. Through a community-led grant-making process, the fund will support efforts to develop capacity and infrastructure in the racial justice movement to envision, articulate and create a transformed St. Louis region through community organizing and healing arts.

Press Release:

The Barbershop Project

The Barbershop Program is a health initiative targeting high-risk populations providing them with free Blood Pressure Screenings, Prostate Cancer Awareness and HIV/AIDS Educations.

The Program is a collaborative effort between The 100 Black Men of Metropolitan St. Louis and St. Louis University – College for Public Health and Social Justice, University of Missouri – St. Louis College of Nursing, along with the St. Louis City Department of Health. The Barber Shop

Tour visits more than 20 barber shops on Saturdays over a 2 month period. The goal is to inform 200-300 participants of how important it is to monitor their blood pressure, which can prevent heart attacks and strokes, along with the need for routine visits with their physician.




**Employment and Women’s Health Disparities

(Is this Wage Pass Thru? )

This initiative studies the connection between employment practices and women’s health disparities in women 18 years to death. Investigators are evaluating whether current governmental efforts to address inequities in employment and women’s health disparities lead to law and policy changes that impact women’s health. This work also examines the societal systems, organizational structures, institutional practices and legal policies that cause inequities in employment, which directly impact women’s health.