Heller Research on Inequities and Disparities 

researchers sit around a conference table with laptops open, one laptop screen shows a website that reads "Making Inequity Visible"
Members of the Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy team

The Heller School is home to 11 research centers, institutes and collaboratives specializing in a variety of social policy fields and disciplines. We take great pride in bringing evidence and knowledge to bear on social justice efforts wherever they exist—and wherever they do not. 

Many of our ongoing research endeavors seek to identify social disparities and evaluate or promote policies intended to resolve these inequities. Below are just a few examples of recent work in these areas.

Sample Research Projects

diversitydatakids.org: Data for a Diverse and Equitable Future

Diversitydatakids.org is a research project of the Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy that maps and quantifies neighborhood conditions across the U.S. The goal of diversitydatakids.org is to ensure that all children have access to the resources they need to thrive.  

Confronting Racial Inequities in Workplace Benefits

This study comes from the Institute on Assets and Social Policy (IASP), a team that has done years of foundational research on the racial wealth gap in the United States. In it, the team focused on the relationship between occupational segregation, workplace benefits and the racial wealth gap, finding that black and Latino employees are less likely to have wealth-building and wealth-protecting workplace benefits than their white colleagues. 

Building Welcoming Places: Immigrant Integration Efforts in Northern New England

While communities across the nation struggle to keep up with a rapidly changing policy environment, faculty members and staff at the are bringing together funders and immigrant-led organizations across three states to promote immigrant integration efforts on the ground.

Report: The Long-Term Impacts of Student Loans for First-Generation Students and Students of Color

This report from the Institute on Assets and Social Policy titled, "Stalling Dreams," reveals how student loans widen the racial wealth gap and threaten long-term economic security for those who cannot count on family wealth to support their educational ambitions. 

INROADS (Intersecting Research on Opioid Misuse, Addiction and Disability Services)

INROADS is a joint research program between the Institute for Behavioral Health and the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy that examines the intersection between addiction, disability and service provision in an effort to address the rise of opioid use disorders among people with disabilities. 

The National Research Center for Parents with Disabilities (NRCPD)

This project from the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy conducts research and provides training and technical assistance to improve the lives of parents with disabilities and their families. The NRCPD supports parents with disabilities and provides information about working with parents with disabilities for social workers, researchers and legal professionals.