CHANGE Lab Members from Left to Right: Whitney Howie, Danielle Porter, Samantha Philip, Caitlyn Maye, Dr. Thurston

Vision

A world where everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible.

Mission

To actively promote the health and well-being of adolescents, young adults, and their families by:

Understanding drivers of health disparities in minoritized* populations (across intersectional identities of race, ethnicity, gender, class, and sexuality)

Developing culturally-responsive and strength-based interventions to promote health, wellness, and self-empowerment

Increasing the recruitment, engagement, and retention of individuals underrepresented in psychology

Advancing health equity science, practice, training, education, and public policy

Approach

Our approach considers the intersectionality of multicultural identities and is primarily guided by Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) principles, syndemic theory, and socioecological framework. Our core research areas examine: 1) Psychological, Physiological, and Cardiometabolic health of youth with high body weights, and 2) Co-occurring adversities (i.e., syndemics) of HIV, partner violence, and substance use. Our goals are to reach and serve diverse populations who have been underrepresented in research and treatment, including racial and ethnic minorities, immigrants, sexual minorities, women, and those with limited access to resources and mental health services.

*We use this term to describe groups who have been devalued and denied equitable resources in the U.S., with the intention of highlighting the systemic nature of their devaluation and emphasize that a group's social status is not necessarily reflective of population size. Read more here.