Community Equity Lab
Established in 2018 to address the urgent housing and health needs of socioeconomically impoverished and politically disenfranchised inner-city communities of color, the Community Equity Lab integrates anti-poverty and civil rights advocacy and grassroots organizing strategies with university-wide, interdisciplinary resources to advance social justice initiatives at the neighborhood intersection of race and inequality in the areas of education, health, housing, municipal equity, and the natural and built environment. Collaboratively launched with frontline institutions (civic associations, faith-based groups and church congregations, tenant and homeowner organizations) in co-investigative partnerships centered on neighborhood-wide, common entry point issues (displacement, environmental justice, fair and affordable housing, health disparities, and segregation), Lab initiatives seek to: (1) challenge the exclusion of disenfranchised groups from political, economic, and social systems to ensure equal access, equality of opportunity, and the fair distribution of public goods and services; (2) increase civic participation and democratic inclusion at local, state, and national levels to make government more representative and responsive; (3) strengthen the capacity and effectiveness of existing community-based organizations and promote innovative institution-building projects sustainable across private, public, and nonprofits sectors; (4) foster leadership development and professional training programs to counter entrenched cultural narratives of powerlessness; and (5) rebuild neighborhood civic infrastructures and link civic engagement constituencies to broader anti-poverty and civil rights advocacy and organizing networks locally, regionally, and nationally.
Health Disparities Project
Launched in 2020 in collaboration with the School of Medicine’s MD/MPH Program, the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, and a coalition of community partners, the Health Disparities Project addresses community-centered health law and policy research, advocacy, and reform in South Florida. During the 2020-2021 academic year, the Health Disparities Project received both a grant from the University of Miami Laboratory for Integrative Knowledge (U-LINK) and an Association of American Medical Colleges Next Award for its foundational research titled “COVID-19: Evaluating Fault Lines in the Health of Our Communities and Developing Community-Centered Solutions.”
Housing and Community Economic Development Project
Created in 1999 as a joint venture with the School of Architecture’s Center for Urban and Community Design to develop interdisciplinary teaching, research, and neighborhood technical assistance models promoting municipal equity in the built environment, the Housing and Community Economic Development Project has grown into a broadercollaboration with a coalition of community partners, including civic associations, Black churches, and tenant and homeowner organizations, seeking to (i) halt the eviction, displacement, and resegregation of vulnerable tenants and homeowners; (ii) negotiate community benefits agreements; (iii) reform segregative land use and zoning policies; and (iv) build and rehabilitate fair, affordable, and integrated housing.
Community Equity Lab 2021 Fellows
Housing and Community Economic Development Project (HCEDP)
Christopher Gray – William M. Hoeveler Fellow, 3L
Health Disparities Project (HDP)
Kristen Dagher - Health Disparities Project Fellow, 2L
Lauren Jones - Health Disparities Project Fellow, 2L