Research for Equity and Justice Collective (REJC)

Building on synergies, the Fitzpatrick College of Nursing's Research for Equity & Justice Collective meets urgent societal needs by leveraging research to promote equity and justice in population health. 

In addition to individual beliefs and behaviors, there are broader social and structural influences that prevent individuals from reaching their full health potential. These include factors such as poverty, structural racism (and other “-isms” and phobias), neighborhood disadvantage, inadequate provider training/education and siloed care delivery systems. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the global consequences of not remedying these issues, resulting in unnecessary and premature morbidity and mortality. Similar to other health crises, historically marginalized communities bear the brunt of this devastation. There is a clarion call to develop evidence-based practices, interventions and policies that tackle multi-level drivers of inequity and injustice to ensure the health and wellbeing of future generations.

The Research for Equity & Justice Collective launched in October 2021 as an international collaborative effort to meet this need. The REJC is comprised of transdisciplinary faculty, staff, students (across academic levels) and community members who address multi-level factors that influence health outcomes in their scientific work. In the monthly 1-hour virtual meetings, members learn about novel advances in equity- and justice-focused research, share works in progress and receive feedback during the “Member Spotlight,” and strategize ways to partner on grants and other products to improve health outcomes.

Current projects are related to:  

  • Ensuring equity and representation in nursing education and simulation
  • Elimination of maternal health inequities
  • Gun violence prevention
  • Mental health promotion
  • Improving public policy and administration for underserved groups
  • Integration of cultural and spiritual practices into clinical care
  • Reduction of caregiver burden in chronic disease management

Founder and Director of the REJC

Bridgette M. Rice, PhD, MDiv, APRN, FAAN, Associate Dean for Research and Innovation and The Richard and Marianne Kreider Endowed Professor in Nursing for Vulnerable Populations 

Dr. Bridgette Brawner

Dr. Brawner is a staunch justice advocate whose personal motto is to “change the world, one community at a time." Her research, teaching, mentorship and service are dedicated to activities that support a future where all individuals will have an opportunity to reach their full health potential. The majority of this work is with marginalized populations, particularly racial and ethnic minoritized groups in underresourced environments. She engages key community members in all stages of her efforts, and uses innovative mixed methods approaches (e.g., combining geographic information systems [GIS] mapping with ethnographic observations and participant interviews) to develop culturally and contextually relevant interventions and policies. Dr. Brawner has received numerous awards and is highly sought after on an international landscape for her advanced conceptual knowledge, methodological skills and exemplary model of academic-community partnerships.

Questions and inquiries can be directed to or 610.519.3843.

Interested in donating to the REJC? Please contact Robert Hill at 267-455-8071 or