Why the Wilkins/Smith Institute at Rust College
Achieving health equity in North Mississippi and the Mid-South can be realized in our lifetime. What it requires is the vision to believe it is possible; strategies to make it happen; and the will to succeed. Rust College, through the Wilkins/Smith Institute for Health Equity and Social Justice is uniquely positioned to support health equity. Drawing on the legacy of social justice pioneers affiliated with Rust College, the Institute has developed proven community-engaged research and evaluation strategies that produce high impact results for communities affected by health disparities. As the Institute expands its partnerships and work in North Mississippi and the Mid-South, its vision of health equity through high-quality, actionable information and community-engaged activities will be realized.
1. Establish an academic research institute to secure competitive funding from public and private entities to address health disparities (a social justice issue) in North Mississippi and the Mid-South.
2. Partner with regional academic institutions, public health agencies and communities affected by health disparities in research, evaluation, training and community engaged activities.
3. Achieve health equity through community mobilization, community-engaged research, program evaluation, socially-relevant program development, and training.
Means of Assessing Outcomes
1. Community, institutional and agency partnerships and consulting agreements (including Memoranda of Understanding)
2. Grant applications submitted
3. Grant funding received
a. Develop published manuscripts on the scholarship and activism of key social justice advocates in North Mississippi and the Mid-South, including:
• Roy Wilkins
• Earnest A. Smith
• Blanche K. Bruce
• Hiram R. Revels
b. Develop scholarly articles and monographs on health disparities.
c. Generate literature reviews and descriptive reports on the extent and impact of
health disparities in North Mississippi and the Mid-South.
d. Host field trainings and workshops on conducting needs and outcome assessments; community-based participatory research (CBPR); faith/health/community partnership development; and community engagement for health.