Wash U. Scholars Collaborate to Study Ways of Alleviating Effects of Racism

A new collaborative initiative at the Washington University Brown School of Social Work’s Center for Social Development intends to study the effect racism and social inequality have on health and quality of life for people of color in the U.S.

The Collaboration on Race, Inequality, and Social Mobility in America (CRISMA) brings together academics of different disciplines — including psychology, public health, and social work — to examine costs associated with social mobility and mental healthcare, environmental factors affecting health and well-being in minority communities, and ways of building resilience in the face of structural racism. CRISMA is co-directed by Brown School faculty members Sheretta Butler-Barnes, David Patterson, and Darrell Hudson.

“We are very intentional in our language around who is impacted by structural and individual racism, including African Americans, American Indians, Latinos, Asian, and immigrant populations,” Butler-Barnes said in a press release. “Our hope is that we will bring together scholars from around Washington University and other interested scholars around the country.”

Patterson echoed this sentiment.

“My hope is for CRISMA to build scientific knowledge and develop scholars who are dedicated to the reduction and elimination of racial and ethnic disparities in America,” he said. “We have to educate and train the next generation of social workers and public health workers who can work throughout our communities to eliminate the devastating health consequences caused by inequalities.”