Leaders from the Brown University School of Public Health and Tougaloo College, a historically black college in Mississippi, are joining forces on a new initiative to make the next generation of public health professionals more reflective of America’s increasingly diverse population.
The School of Public Health launched a Health Equity Scholars fellowship program, which will offer full-tuition scholarships for up to five Tougaloo College graduates annually to pursue master of public health degrees at Brown. Both in the classroom and beyond, fellows will focus on health disparities linked to social and economic factors, with opportunities to participate in mentorship programs and leadership training that will help these scholars address inequities in health care, social determinants of health, and the impact of racism on access to and quality of care.
“Racism against black Americans is a profoundly important public health problem,” said Ashish Jha, the incoming dean of Brown’s School of Public Health. “We need public health leaders to more effectively address these challenges. I am thrilled to partner with our colleagues at Tougaloo College to expand the opportunities to train a new generation of leaders who can bring fresh ideas and perspective to these long-standing challenges.”
Wendy White, an educator and researcher at Tougaloo College who directs the Jackson Heart Study Education and Training program, added that “our Tougaloo College students are introduced to the health disparities that exist in our world as early as high school, through summer enrichment classes sponsored by the Jackson Heart Study on the Tougaloo campus. We are very intentional in preparing them to be health care advocates. This opportunity through the Brown-Tougaloo Partnership will build on their undergraduate learning experiences and further train them to be public health leaders who will impact the world.”