Championing health equity at home, school, and within communities

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Shanise Owens

When Shanise Owens was little, her mother would say to her, “If you don’t do it at home first, then how can I trust that you will do it in public?”

This saying still holds true for Owens, who is a doctoral student of Health Systems and Population Health at the University of Washington School of Public Health (SPH). Owens serves on several equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) initiatives and committees, and believes that championing health equity in our communities starts with prioritizing EDI work within the School.

“By prioritizing EDI, we create a learning environment that reflects the diverse communities we serve,” said Owens. “We equip our students with the skills and values needed to tackle health inequities head-on. Then, we can begin to build trust and foster collaboration with communities, which are essential ingredients for co-creating true health equity.”

In a recent Q&A with the School of Public Health, Owens describes her research on the impact of redlining on wealth, employment, and health outcomes, her passion for EDI work, and advice for public health students.

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