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IHDSC Awarded Grant to Launch Collaborative Working Group to Study Economic Inclusion and Family Health and Wellbeing


The Institute of Human Development and Social Change (IHDSC) has received funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to launch a collaborative working group. The goal of the working group is to critically review scholarship on economic inclusion and family health and wellbeing and identify strategies to promote structural change to economic systems. Economic inclusion intersects with multiple systems of oppression and privilege in United States society and is central to building a culture of health that enables all families and children in our diverse society to lead healthy lives and thrive. 

Using a collaborative working group model, we will center the lived experience and perspectives of community-based organizations and impacted families in the generation. Collectively, we will review, synthesize, and critique current scholarly knowledge on economic inclusion and family health. The interdisciplinary working group will then translate knowledge into actionable strategies that prioritize change to economic systems rather than individuals. In partnership with the StarLion Collective (the project’s learning and facilitation partner), this work will culminate in dissemination materials and activities designed to change the conversation about economic inclusion from individuals to systems and create actionable opportunities for structural changes to economic policy and practice.

The project will be facilitated by Drs. Erin Godfrey, Director of IHDSC and Professor in NYU’s Applied Psychology, and Ajay Chaudry, Research Scholar at IHDSC and NYU Wagner. The collaborative includes a team with diverse talents including members of RWJF’s Healthy Children and Families team, multidisciplinary academic content experts, community-based organizations, StarLion Collective, content creators and designers, and individuals and families impacted by exclusionary practices.

“This project is so exciting because it exemplifies so much of what we are trying to do at IHDSC,” said Dr. Godfrey. “It seeks to understand and unravel inequity, brings interdisciplinary perspectives to bear on applied social problems, incorporates meaningful partnerships that center community voice in the generation of knowledge and solutions, and prioritizes communications and dissemination strategies that enable impact to go beyond the walls of academia.”

“RWJF’s investment in this collaborative working group speaks volumes to their commitment to projects that recognize the needs of the whole community,” said Dr. Chaudry. “The structure of the working group exemplifies the direction the field is taking, which is to embed the principles of research-practice partnerships (RPPs) into all facets of community-based research in order to generate real and lasting impact.”

In the coming weeks, IHDSC will be identifying faculty affiliates, graduate students, and partners to solicit involvement in the working group. If you’re interested in learning more, email us at

Stay informed about the working group and other IHDSC projects by signing up for IHDSC emails.


Erin Godfrey

Director of NYU's Institute of Human Development and Social Change and Associate Professor of Applied Psychology

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The Institute of Human Development and Social Change

IHDSC is the largest interdisciplinary institute on New York University's Washington Square campus supporting rigorous research and training across social, behavioral, educational, policy, and health sciences.

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