News Health Equity

Ferguson pilot grant and Institute match recipient

Washington University’s Ferguson Academic Seed Fund and the Institute for Public Health awarded funding to Darrell Hudson, PhD, MPH, Institute scholar and assistant professor at the Brown School, for his project titled, ‘An Examination of Race and Costs of Upward Social Mobility in St. Louis.’

Despite the improved socioeconomic status of black Americans, why are members of the black middle class still bearing a disproportionate amount of morbidity and mortality today? Black Americans are at higher risk for a myriad of chronic, debilitating conditions. Health indices such as overall mortality rates and infant mortality rates suggest systematic inequalities in health in the United States between blacks and whites. However, in studies that adjust, statistically, for socioeconomic resources, black–white health disparities do not disappear. Even blacks of middle class status share a disproportionate burden of mortality and morbidity compared to whites.

While the presence and persistence of black-white health disparities is well documented, qualitative examinations of these phenomena are limited at best. Furthermore, there is a paucity of research aimed at examining blacks of middle class status and how black Americans experience and live middle class lifestyles. A qualitative examination of health disparities is necessary to help illuminate and explain quantitative differences that have been observed in health disparities research. This qualitative study will provide a better understanding of the experiences of middle class blacks in the face of persistent health disparities, despite socioeconomic advantage.

The Ferguson Academic Seed Fund aims to promote research that addresses the issues related to the development of sustainable urbanism in our communities, including, but not limited to, the racial, economic, legal, and political issues that underlie it.

Learn about other Institute match recipients here.