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WSU Research Promoting Equity

Promoting equity

Leveling the playing field for individuals and communities

Inequality of opportunity persists in virtually every aspect of society. Scholars identify it across political, social, economic, and educational realms. What factors give rise to inequality? What are the best paths toward reform?

WSU researchers study inequality across many disciplines. They analyze how globalization shapes business practices. They examine the impact of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education on access to opportunities and achievement. They study the behavioral aspects of social systems. Using data sciences, they model human and natural systems. Scholars probe how factors like digital access and media messages influence opportunity.

Knowledge gleaned enables them to find effective ways to redress inequities, both old and new.

Research areas

  • Understanding gender, race, and culture through artistic expression and critical inquiry
  • Understanding diversity from genetic through cultural levels of analysis
  • Injustice and inequality
  • Distribution of resources
  • Educational access
  • Police training in a new light

    WSU seeks better ways to handle tense encounters

    The call came into 9-1-1 from a Spokane YMCA last October: A middle-aged man was threatening to break the kneecaps of an eight-year-old, because he said the boy could “ruin my NBA career.”

    Corporal Jordan Ferguson of the Spokane Police Department responded, fully aware of the suspect’s antagonistic and unpredictable behavior. Ferguson’s body camera footage shows what happened next.

    In the lobby of the YMCA, an employee first describes the man’s erratic statements. Ferguson tracks the man to the gym, who then walks away yelling. Rather than restraining the man immediately, Ferguson asks him questions and listens … » More …

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  • Youth employment challenges reflect and widen the gap between rich and poor

    Recession dims employment prospects most severely for disadvantaged youth

    The path from adolescence to professional success has become more challenging, especially for disadvantaged populations. The Great Recession in 2009 dimmed employment prospects for the millennial generation around the world, leaving many unemployed or underemployed. Teens and young adults whose formal education ended with a high school diploma or less have suffered the most.

    Professor of sociology Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson studies teenage and young adult employment in the U.S. In two recent studies she examined employment trends and how work experiences during the recession affected teens’ and young adults’ economic and career outlooks in the long … » More …

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Washington State University