Culture, Identity and Value

Our core value is positive engagement, meaning that we believe we all have something positive to offer as the foundation for promoting health equity and social justice.

The ultimate goals of U-RISE are to uplift our communities, from Saint Louis to other parts of the globe, by drawing on our collective will and desire for health and social justice so that, together, we can all rise.


Iwelunmor J., Newsome, V., & Airhihenbuwa CO. (2014) Framing the impact of culture on health: A review of the PEN-3 cultural model and its application in public health research and interventions. Ethnicity and Health, 19(1): 20-24.

Positive, transformative and sustainable

We promote and nurture collaboration among community and agency leaders, and scholars from several disciplines, to produce nurturing spaces for innovative solutions to inequity in health.

Our programs are designed to train and support leaders across communities and institutions to work together to generate innovative solutions that are meaningful and sustainable socially, culturally and structurally.


Airhihenbuwa CO, Ogedegbe G, Iwelunmor J, Jean-Louis G, Williams N, Zizi F, Okuyemi K (2016). Claim Your Space: Leadership Development as a Research Capacity Building Goal in Global Health. Health Ed and Behavior. 46 (1S). 17S – 24S.

Bringing together Community, Institutions and agencies

Our trainings are designed to bring together communities and institutions to focus on shared values across racial groups. We use the intersection of our identities to provide spaces for racial healing by addressing social and structural determinants of health in order to have sustainable solutions that benefit our communities especially our youth.


Ford, C., Airhihenbuwa CO (2010) The Public Health Critical Race Methodology: Praxis For Antiracism Research, Social Science & Medicine, 71: 1390 – 1398.

CDC’s Office of Minority Health and Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Management Virtual Leadership Training – JULY & August 2021


This course is for

1. Senior executive leaders 
such as members of the Management Board; CIO directors; and those currently responsible for leading the agency’s strategic programs, policies, and services.

2. Managers and supervisors 
including program managers at the division level, management officials, division directors, and deputy directors.


Duration: 5 hours

We approach anti-racism discussions designed to improve leadership to promote institutional Diversity and Inclusion by focusing on co-creating caring and nurturing spaces for health equity. The primary resource for this training is the book entitled Racism: The Science and Tools for Public health Professionals.  It is challenging to discuss issues around racism in public health without, first, understanding key related terms like “race,” “racism”, “ethnicity,” and “culture.” These terms and their meanings can be used in different ways under different circumstances; therefore, thus leaders are presented with several widely utilized definitions for the terms “race,” “racism”, “ethnicity,” and “culture”.  Knowledge gained in these discussions will be valuable to institutions and agencies, like CDC, its leadership and employees particularly during this COVID-19 pandemic.  This training will enable leaders, staff, employees to gain critical insights and skills which will be vital in forging ahead to promote antiracism in your working environment and in the community.  The training situates current antiracism efforts, including those contained in the book, within the historical context of public health, given that the profession has a long, rich history of social change, community organizing, policy advocacy, and scholarship aimed at achieving health equity and social justice.


  • Examine ways to develop strategies to study antiracism to promote health equity.
  • Initiate collaborations at the intersectionsof identity, culture and value that enable community, key stakeholders, and scholars from several disciplines to support spaces for innovative solutions to reduce inequity in health.
  • Challenge public and health agency leaders to engage in professional and disciplinary self-critique as relates to research and practice to promote anti-racism and decolonization of health
  • Provide ways to engagecommunities and institutions to generate innovative anti-racism solutions that are socially, culturally, and structurally sustainable.
  • Create solutions for structural and social determinants of health using a culture-based approach
  • Examine the limit and impact of individual based antiracism training, such as unconscious biases, to better understand the need for effective policy level decision-making.
  • Explore how our understandings of leadership, and inclusion have evolved and intersected to create a new level of awareness and skills that are critical for leaders in these times of creating antiracism and decolonizing policies and programs.
  • Delve into why we need to expand the circle of perspectives that can inform our professional growth while advancing equity and social justice.