Community Engagement and Equity
Community engagement is at the core of public health research and practice. To address the health needs of communities, it is critical to engage diverse stakeholders, including intended beneficiaries, in identifying needs and assets as well as planning, implementing and evaluating public health solutions. Communities can be engaged across a continuum of involvement. HPDP encourages and facilitates engagement with communities in program or policy development and the research process.
Focus on Equity
The UNC Center for HPDP promotes equity among people of different backgrounds in the public health community. As reflected in our equity statement, we are increasing our efforts to address inequities through staff training, access to resources to reduce inequity, and engaged research with medically underserved, low-resourced, and rural communities.
Below are a few of the resources, either at UNC-Chapel Hill or in our local area, that HPDP researchers and staff have found useful in promoting equity:
- Tell About the South is a lunch series, hosted by the Center for the Study of the American South, where faculty, graduate students, and community members give presentations about topics in southern scholarship, including topics related to race.
- The UNC Office for Diversity and Inclusion provides programming throughout the year and maintains an online calendar of relevant programs on campus.
- The UNC LGBTQ Center offers in-person education opportunities as well as online resources to facilitate their mission of fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment for members of all sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions.
- HPDP has supported training for staff members through the Racial Equity Institute. Scholarships are available for staff who are interested in attending a training.
HPDP believes that all people — regardless of their gender, ethnicity, race, class, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or age — are entitled to resources and opportunities that foster a healthy life. We value the assets, resources, and resiliency of communities of color and low-income communities who disproportionately experience racism and discrimination. We acknowledge that the norms and institutions of white privilege perpetuate the causes and multiply the effects of health inequities. HPDP is dedicated to changing this paradigm by confronting these forces at their root and by instituting equitable practices in all aspects of our work.