Diversity and Health Disparities

The Diversity and Health Disparities Cluster addresses health inequities among ethnic and racial minorities and other vulnerable populations through research, teaching and policy activity on deeply rooted social inequalities within our society that result in disproportionate rates of illness and death in marginalized groups. These social inequalities include persistent poverty; unequal access to decent jobs, education and housing; political disfranchisement; racial discrimination; and toxic living and working environments. The cluster includes two primary interest areas: (1) Neighborhoods and the social economy of health disparities; and (2) Health, human rights, and social inequality. 

One major misconception is that many people think that most health disparities are a function of inherent differences between groups and don't consider their social determinants. Racial minorities aren't likely to be sicker or have worse health outcomes because of natural differences. Once we understand health disparities to be a function of the way that we design social and political systems, we can then find effective structural solutions to closing the gaps. -Osagie K. Obasogie