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Vivian A. and James L. Curtis School of Social Work Center for Health Equity Research and Training

Letter from the Director

Welcome to the Vivian A. and James L. Curtis School of Social Work  Center for Health Equity Research and Training. 

Located at the University of Michigan School of Social Work, the Curtis Center for Health Equity Research and Training is a team of thought leaders, scientists, community organizers, practitioners, and educators dedicated to cutting-edge research, education/training, and community outreach. We come together to further society’s understanding of social and behavioral health conditions and to improve the lives of marginalized populations.

Since its establishment in 2008, the Curtis Center has been a catalyst for social change in underserved communities; all the while shaping the careers of budding scholars dedicated to ameliorating health and social disparities. Functioning as an interdisciplinary collaboration between U-M faculty, community and university partners, and students, for over a decade the Curtis Center has had a positive impact upon the lives of those most in need. 

Our Center’s focus on equity is both timely and critical, because despite prevailing health disparities, there is still substantial debate regarding the forces behind them and too few strategies for eliminating them. Identifying the factors that cause disparities has implications for interventions and policies to improve the social and behavioral health of marginalized populations in real world situations. The Curtis Center’s approach is one of promoting innovative and aspirational models to achieve social, emotional, and behavioral health equity through research, education/training, and community outreach. Though the primary focus of the Center is on facilitating the improvement of social and behavioral health for marginalized groups, success in this effort must consider other social determinants and environments that influence health outcomes (e.g., socioeconomic status, education, family dynamics, social systems, etc.).

As we support the efforts of equity leaders and change agents in the field, I invite you to explore the various ways you can connect with us.

Daphne C. Watkins

Director, Vivian A. and James L. Curtis School of Social Work  Center for Health Equity Research and Training
Professor of Social Work, University of Michigan

Our Vision

Health equity for marginalized communities in Michigan and across the globe.

Our Mission

To stimulate research, training, and outreach opportunities that promote health equity by supporting work that deepens our understanding of the factors that lead to inequities and the strategies that eliminate them.

Our Goals

Research

To advance the conduct and mobilization of research on health equity that impacts marginalized communities.

Education/Training

To establish fertile ground for health equity education and training for faculty, staff, and students.

Community Outreach

To build and sustain direct engagement with communities so that the center can generate real world impact.

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