The Health Equity, Social Justice and Human Rights (EQUITY) concentration is hosted by the Gillings School’s Departments of Epidemiology, Environmental Sciences and Health Behavior.

This concentration will prepare you for positions in diverse areas of public health through training in quantitative, qualitative and community-engaged approaches in research and practice. A cross-cutting and interdisciplinary concentration, EQUITY will empower you with a fundamental understanding of the history, principles, theories and frameworks of health equity, anti-racism, social justice and human rights.

What You’ll Learn

This concentration will train you to assess social determinants of health and structural inequities and to devise community-engaged solutions to address them through public health practice or research. Specifically, you will learn to:

  • Critically evaluate the social determinants of health and understand how they contribute to health inequities; and
  • Apply a range of community-engaged strategies and methodologies to advance health equity, social justice and human rights through mentored fieldwork in the United States or another nation.

Career Opportunities

In the course of the EQUITY concentration, you will acquire six competencies (described below). With these abilities, potential domestic and global career positions in diverse areas of public health include:

  • Public health advisor
  • Health policy analyst
  • Consultant
  • Outreach coordinator
  • Health educator
  • Research coordinator
  • Federal health agency staff member
  • Academic or foundation researcher
  • Coalition coordinator

Learn more about the opportunities that await you with an MPH from the Gillings School.

Required Courses

In addition to the interdisciplinary, 12-credit Gillings MPH Core, you will take:

  • EPID 826: Introduction to Social Epidemiology
  • SPHG 720: Leading for Racial Equity
  • PUBH 748: Policy for Social Transformation
  • ENVR 784: Community-driven Research and Environmental Justice
  • HBEH 700: Foundations of Health Equity
  • EPID 892: Seminar in Health Equity, Social Justice and Human Rights

You also will complete a summer practicum during your first year and a culminating integrated learning experience during your second year.

Concentration Competencies

This program will empower you with the knowledge and skills to achieve the following core competencies:

  • Evaluate critically the ways in which current and historical policies, institutions and groups influence social determinants of health and contribute to inequities in health across the life course.
  • Integrate relevant strategies, methodologies and measures for research, practice and policies that advance health equity, social justice and human rights.
  • Interpret data to identify the systemic inequities across multiple sectors, such as health, education, criminal justice, business, housing and economic development.
  • Critique multilevel, structural and systems approaches to public health research and practice using principles of health equity, social justice and human rights.
  • Evaluate how health programs and policies address health equity, social justice and human rights.
  • Incorporate cultural humility principles in public health research, practice and policy.

Contact

Want to learn more?

Contact Jennifer Moore or Valerie Hudock, student services managers in the Department of Epidemiology, at epidemiology@unc.edu.

Concentration Leaders

Joanna “Asia” Maselko, ScD
Associate professor
Department of Epidemiology
jmaselko@unc.edu

Geni Eng, DrPH
Professor
Department of Health Behavior
eugenia_eng@unc.edu

Anissa Vines, PhD
Assistant professor
Department of Epidemiology
avines@email.unc.edu

Courtney Woods, PhD
Assistant professor
Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering
cgwoods@email.unc.edu

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