The George Washington University Institute for Racial and Socioeconomic Equity (The Equity Institute) creates actionable new knowledge and educates citizen leaders dedicated to the eradication of racial, ethnic, and economic inequality in the United States and worldwide.


The George Washington University Institute for Racial, Ethnic, and Socioeconomic Equity (The Equity Institute) will leverage GW’s prominent faculty, energetic students, vast network of preeminent alumni, and location in Washington, DC to produce transformative research, innovative pedagogy, and impactful policy that will help end racial, ethnic, and economic inequality in the United States and the world. The Equity Institute will provide a global model for top research universities to partner with communities to convene top experts, publish action-oriented scholarship, and educate leaders dedicated to building a more just society.


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Foundational Framework

The GW Institute for Racial, Ethnic & Socioeconomic Equity (Equity Institute) was established as an interdisciplinary disciplinary research institute in the heart of the nation’s capital. Its mission is to create actionable new knowledge and educate citizen leaders dedicated to the eradication of racial, ethnic, and economic inequality in the United States and worldwide. It advances the George Washington University’s social justice mission through five activities:

Alfreda Robinson and Carly Jordan

Our Five Activities

Support GWU Researchers

Provide an infrastructure to support GWU equity researchers’ writing, teaching, dissemination (publications and presentations), and fundraising to attract new research dollars to GWO.

Invest to Advance Racial and Socioeconomic Equity in Vulnerable Communities

Form authentic community partnerships that serve vulnerable communities and transfer knowledge and other resources to further their equity-enhancing activities.

Equip Students to Serve

Create and teach students curricula offerings that will prepare them to be researchers who adhere to the best practices of community based participatory research, and citizen leaders who approach community work with integrity and humility.

Translate Interdisciplinary Research to Impactful Policy

Partner GWU humanities and STEM researchers with GWU’s legal and public policy scholars to translate research into actionable and measurable policy interventions.

Implement Actionable Research

Convene conferences, publish scholarships, and form collaborations to impart equity-enhancing, “shovel-ready” interventions to policy- and lawmakers who implement impactful reforms.

The Equity Institute’s organizational and theoretical focal point for GW’s community-engaged, racial equity scholars who often conduct their research in disciplinary silos across the university, typically at the margins rather than at the center of their respective departments.

Bonnie Gordon and Aristide J. Collins, Jr.

The Equity Institute has already successfully attracted membership and participation from GW faculty across the university in fields such as Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies, Economics, International Affairs, Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology, Education, Public Health, Engineering, Nursing, Law, and Medicine.

Community partnerships are essential elements of the Equity Institute. Over the past year, seed grants have been awarded to GW faculty and student partnerships with community members to: create a community garden; develop out-of-school time programming; use digital storytelling and writing to heal inter-generational trauma; assess prosecutorial practices; identify barriers to legal and health justice; address health equity in often-overlooked Asian American communities; and more.