Our Mission

Eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities and achieve health equity by producing and promoting ethical, evidence-based research and evaluation through participatory engagement with communities and populations in North Mississippi and the Mid-South.

Our Vision

North Mississippi and the Mid-South achieving health equity through high quality, actionable health disparities research, evaluation & community engaged activities.

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.

Intended Outcomes

  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.