University of Southern California

Research

Diversity in Society

USC conducts research that serves the needs of diverse populations and helps improve our understanding of diverse individuals and diverse societies. By studying diversity, we recognize that quality research depends on sensitivity to diversity as a topic, which needs to be understood in the context of study design and interpretation of research results, as well as diversity as the specific focus of research investigations.

Examples include our study of equitable treatment or access to opportunities of diverse populations, the role and effects of discrimination and bias in society, comparative health and educational outcomes, and evaluation of strategies for providing a more just society.

Learn more about our research on diversity in populations below.

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 Zumberge Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) in Research Award
 USC Race and Equity Center
 The Annenberg Inclusion Initiative
 Institute for Diversity and Empowerment at Annenberg (IDEA)
 Minority Aging and Health Economics Research Center
 USC Childhood Obesity Research Center (CORC)
 USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work
 Rossier School of Education Center for Urban Education
 The Keck School of Medicine Center for Health Equity in the Americas
 Dornsife’s Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE)
 The USC Price Tomás Rivera Policy Institute (TRPI)
 The Dornsife College Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII)
 USC Law & Global Health Collaboration
 The Keck School of Medicine Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research
 
CREATE – Homeland Security Center
 Rossier School of Education Pullias Center for Higher Education: TSLC Scholars
 Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR)
 USC School of Architecture
 USC School of Social Work & IMPULS-Netherlands Research Center for Social Care
 USC Center for Artificial Intelligence in Society

 

Zumberge Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) in Research Award supports research and scholarship that addresses critical gaps in knowledge on equity, diversity, and inclusion, or which benefits diverse communities, providing up to $30,000 for one-year research projects. Eligible topics include research that collaborates with minority-serving organizations; that is informed by and serves the needs of diverse communities; or that targets training or career grants to enhance the number of URM scholars. Learn more.

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USC Race and Equity Center facilitates collaborations on grant proposals, publications and research, as well as supports the production of digital media, colloquia performances, and signature events in the area of diversity and equity. It will also support academic development of PhD students, providing a space to connect academically and socially with other doctoral fellows, faculty affiliates, and center researchers pursuing interesting race-related research questions. Visit their website.

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The Annenberg Inclusion Initiative develops research-based solutions to tackle inequality through: a) Research: using data-driven and theory-based research to offer insight and evidence to industries on where diversity is needed and how to achieve it; b) Advocacy: fostering inclusion and to give a voice to disenfranchised or marginalized groups and c) Action: offering simple actions for complex solutions to facilitate social change at the student, industry, and societal levels. Learn more.

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Institute for Diversity and Empowerment at Annenberg (IDEA) supports scholars leading research, courses, and programs that allow students to examine the vast complexities of diversity, identity, and culture across both the School of Communication and the School of Journalism. Visit their website.

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Minority Aging and Health Economics Research Center in USC’s Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics works to increase the number, diversity, and academic success of researchers focusing on the health and economic well-being of minority elderly populations. Research examines the differences across racial and ethnic groups of elderly in: a) health care decision making, b) health behaviors and outcomes; and c) financial behavior including savings and work, and economic well-being. Visit their website.

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USC Childhood Obesity Research Center (CORC) is a collaboration between USC Keck School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles that investigates childhood obesity, related conditions, and their relationship to minority health, and develops novel strategies for prevention and treatment. Research to elucidate mechanisms that contribute to ethnic differences in African American and Hispanic adipose tissue morphology and adipose tissue gene expression is one of many ongoing studies. Visit their website.

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USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work is dedicated to eliminating racial injustice and promoting an ongoing process of healing and reconciliation to dismantle racism. Social work and nursing have a long-standing tradition of research that serves to uphold and improve diversity, equity and inclusion, including projects such as:

The Center for LGBT Health Equity leads scientific inquiry into the physical, emotional and social health of LGBT youth, adults and families, and guides best practices for achieving health equity for this population. Research areas include: preventing suicide among LGBTQ youth, measuring stress among diverse adolescents; improving acceptance, integration and health among LGBT service members; the impact of early medical treatment in transgender youth; and outcomes for lesbian and bisexual women in co-occurring treatment. Visit their website.

Programa Esperanza (Project Hope) Research Period: The aim of the study is to test the comparative effectiveness of Programa Esperanza and enhanced usual care (EUC). Programa Esperanza is a short-term, culturally modified psychosocial intervention for Spanish-speaking Latino patients 55 years of age or older with depression and multiple medical conditions. Learn more.

A Helping Hand to Activate Patient-Centered Depression Care among Low-Income Patients (AHH) aims to improve patient self-care management and patient-provider care management relationships among underserved low-income, primarily immigrant Latino patients, who must simultaneously cope with major depression and chronic co-morbid physical illness. Learn more.

The Caregiver Project: Caregiving to Diverse Families in Los Angeles County, which will test a pilot psychosocial intervention aimed at increasing family caregiver physical and psychological well-being. Based on the intervention, the team will pilot the intervention with English and Spanish-speaking family caregivers in Los Angeles County.

Harmonizing U.S. Datasets to enhance the Study of Cognitive Health in Older Minority Populations: The data harmonization pilot will investigate combining existing local, regional, and national research datasets representing adult aged 50 years and older in the U.S. to provide improved statistical power to study cognitive health related to burden of illness among race/ethnic minority populations. Learn more.

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Rossier School of Education Center for Urban Education leads socially conscious research and develops tools for institutions of higher education to produce equity in student outcomes. Research includes the Research & Planning Group’s Bridging Research Information and Culture (BRIC) Initiative, a partnership with the Research Planning Group that uses institutional data, disaggregated by race and ethnicity, to create performance benchmarks as part of a strategic planning process to improve equitable student outcomes, among many other collaborative projects nationwide. Visit their website.

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The Keck School of Medicine Center for Health Equity in the Americas conducts and promotes national and international research and collaborations on solutions to health disparities throughout the Americas that will contribute to closing gaps in vulnerable populations in achieving health equity. Efforts include “Promoting Health Equity in Cancer Prevention Health Equity Research Summit,” which focused on the development of a strategic plan for the direction of health equities in the Americas. Visit their website.

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Dornsife’s Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) conducts research and facilitates discussions on environmental justice (determining localized impact and broader patterns of environmental inequality), regional inclusion (the relationship between regional economic strength and equity), and social movement building (providing guideposts for successful social movements and analysis to address immediate issues, and policies). Visit their website.

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The USC Price Tomás Rivera Policy Institute (TRPI) researches: economic well-being; educational issues faced by Latinos; information technology and political and civic engagement. TRPI maintains an online platform to publish on a variety of topic areas such as immigrant services and Latinos and the criminal justice system. Current research examines disparities in access and use of technology among the foreign-born population as well as whether racial and ethnic minorities receive the same treatment as whites in the criminal justice system, among others. Visit their website.

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The Dornsife College Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII) identifies and evaluates the benefits of immigrant integration for the native-born and for immigrants, and studies the pace of transformation in different locations. Emphases include: scholarship that draws on academic theory and rigorous research; data that provides information structured to highlight the process of immigrant integration over time; and engagement that seeks to create new dialogues with government, community organizers, business and civic leaders, immigrants and the voting public. Visit their website.

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USC Law & Global Health Collaboration supported by the USC Collaboration Fund, the collaborative tackles existing and emerging legal and global health concerns on a variety of topics using a cross-disciplinary approach. A year-long series has focused on transgender issues, including symposia such as: Transgender Youth Care in the New Millennium; In Transition: Gender [Identity], Law & Global Health Research Symposium; Generating Research to Support Transgender Populations; Legal and Other Barriers to Protection for Transgender Asylum-Seekers in the US, among others. Visit their website.

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The Keck School of Medicine Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research studies health disparities among minorities locally, regionally, and nationally by: (a) increasing understanding of the epidemiology, determinants, and consequences of disease; (b) conducting field trials to develop and test evidence-based prevention programs; and (c) disseminating model health promotion and disease prevention programs in national and global settings. Visit their website.

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CREATE – Homeland Security Center supports the Department of Homeland Security minority research program by hosting research teams from minority serving institutions. The center currently works with minority serving institutions locally (Cal State University Long Beach, Cal State University, Los Angeles), and nationally (Haskell Indian Nations University, Howard University, University of Hawaii, Hilo, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez and Alcorn State University). Visit their website.

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Rossier School of Education Pullias Center for Higher Education: TSLC Scholars: A Mixed Methods Examination of a Comprehensive College Transition and Success Program for Low-Income Students is a 6 year, 6.2 million study that explores how program experiences translate to greater success for participants, and who are predominantly first-generation, low-income students. Learn more.

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Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR) aims to improve social welfare by informing and influencing decision-making in the public and private sectors. Research includes the Minority Aging Health Economics Research Center – Understanding Racial/Ethnic Inequalities in Wealth Trajectories in Middle and Late Life: Patterns and Explanations. Visit their website.

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USC School of Architecture faculty study inequity and historical privilege with respect to the built-environment, including the spaces of women throughout history, the un-even distribution of cultural institutions in Los Angeles; the urbanism of the Black Panther Movement; the relationship between post-apocalyptic films and the representation of environmental injustice in minority communities; spatially distributed relics of power in South Los Angeles, low-income housing locally and globally, and the study of innovative housing models for our aging population.

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USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work & IMPULS-Netherlands Research Center for Social Care, Radboud University Medical Center is an international collaboration dedicated to the promotion of social inclusion and to the prevention of social isolation among disadvantaged and marginalized populations, including persons experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity.  The collaboration promotes inclusion, and health and well-being, through clinical, social, and community intervention and research in the U.S. and Europe.

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USC Center for Artificial Intelligence in Society is a joint venture between the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work and the Viterbi School of Engineering that conducts research in Artificial Intelligence to help solve challenging societal problems including addressing the problems faced by disadvantaged groups. Visit their website.

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