The Equity Institute is a university-wide collaboration to create an institute dedicated to community-engaged research on the worldwide problem of racial and ethnic inequality. Our Institute allocated funding to several Seed Grants, including one supporting research conducted by GW faculty engaged in scholarly activities. It also financially supports individuals engaged in meaningful research endeavors. Learn about our research below.

Faculty Research Spotlights

2022-2023 Outcomes

The Equity Institute is a fellowship of individuals who openly share ideas and seek generative discussion. Over the past 12 months we have convened to update each other on the progress of seed grants and other projects and communicated what we have learned from our research and community-based partners. Our mutual engagement has led to new partnerships and ideas, and incubated cross-university collaborations that would not have otherwise been created. During our first year of operation, the Equity Institute has focused on Activities #1 and #2 – supporting GW researchers and investing in vulnerable communities. 

September 23, 2022 - 2022 Equity Institute Initiative Research Showcase

2022 Equity Institute Initiative Research Showcase – Round 1 grantees presented overviews of their projects and progress.

April 26, 2023 - Equity in Global Healthcare: Assessing Resources for Change Workshop

Equity in Global Healthcare: Assessing Resources for Change Workshop – Round 2 grantees presented overviews of their projects and progress. Presenters included clinicians from Rwanda, Tanzania, South Africa, and Nigeria.

April 26, 2023 - Announced University-wide Request for Proposals

Announced University-wide Request for Proposals made possible by Commonwealth Fund General Operating Grant of $50,000 to support GWU Equity Researchers with projects that investigate uses of technology and data to reduce racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities.

June 5, 2023 - Strategic Planning Retreat

Strategic Planning Retreat – Attended by Equity Institute members and facilitated by the director of the Equity Center at UVA.

June 2023 - Board of Trustees affirmation

Board of Trustees affirmation – Dean Dayna Bowen Matthew presented to the GW Board of Trustees as the Equity Institute is one of the three new campus-wide initiatives that the Deans, Provost, and President will support going forward. The Equity Institute, in particular, is seen as critical to furthering the university’s goals around social justice, diversity, and equity.

July 2023 - Award Seed Grants

Awarded two seed grants to GWU researchers from School of Nursing and the School of Medicine and Health Sciences who are collaborating with GWU data scientists to increase health equity for elderly Korean and other Asian patient populations. This grant funding was made possible by the Commonwealth Fund General Operating Grant of $50,000.

August 2023 - Strategic Planning Process

Hired a consultant firm to help guide the strategic action planning process to launch future activities, projects, and initiatives.

September 2023 - Launched search for the Director of the Equity Institute

Launched search for the Director of the Equity Institute – Current progress and ongoing activities require focused leadership, with an urgent goal of developing a roadmap for the Institute’s growth and success over the next five years.

June 2023 – Present - Support Creation of Three new GW Research Projects

Provided technical assistance to support creation of three new GW Research Projects:

Multiracial Democracy Project: A collaboration among GW Law and GW School of Media and Public Affairs’ Institute for Data, Democracy, and Politics that has attracted over $600,000 in new external research funding to GWU. The Project will focus on resolving key challenges to multiracial democracy in the United States (e.g., gerrymandering, racialized disinformation, voter suppression, cultural anxiety). It will serve as a bridge between civil rights organizations, democracy reform organizations, policymakers, and scholars. The Project will support a racially diverse community of researchers in law, policy, and social science, from different universities and think tanks, who are informed by and inform emerging policy debates.

DreamSpace: A collaboration among GW Schools of Education, Engineering and Law to form makerspaces that offer Washington DC underrepresented youth pathways to STEM through Techno-Vernacular Creativity (TVC). This research team has entered an MOU with a District of Columbia Public School System magnet school to design and build a culturally appropriate makerspace that will be located within a business and innovation district owned in partnership between GWU and the District of Columbia.

Justice Innovation Lab at GW Law (JILL @ GW Law): A first-of-its-kind partnership between GW Law and the School of Engineering in which students work with practitioners to help state governments reduce racial inequality in policing and prosecutorial practices (more information here)

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2023-2024 EI Seed Grant Faculty Research Projects

After considering several possible applications for the funding, the Equity Institute leadership decided to apply this money to attract research projects in two areas that had not been funded through existing projects. The first was to attract projects dedicated to race and technology, and the second was to encourage projects that invited existing equity institute grantees to work together to create new research projects. On April 26, 2023, we issued an RFP offering (1) award of up to $75,000 towards a Race & Technology project and up to (3) awards of up to $15,000 each towards Partners in Equity Research: GWU Partnered Collaborations projects. In response, seven viable projects were proposed. The selection committee selected two to fund on the basis of their promise to 1) advance equity, 2) produce high quality research, and 3) attract new funding to the University. Without the $50k funding from The Commonwealth Fund, has the Equity Institute would not have been able award two seed grants for faculty research in academic year 2023-2024. We are quite excited about funding these projects because of their focus on vulnerable sub-groups of Asian Americans, thus enhancing our understanding of health disparities that affect this patient population.