Consortium on Race, Gender, and Ethnicity

The Consortium on Race, Gender and Ethnicity (CRGE) at the University of Maryland is an interdisciplinary research center which promotes intersectional scholarship through original research, mentoring, and collaboration. CRGE's work explores the intersections of race, gender, ethnicity and other dimensions of inequality as they shape the construction and representation of identities, behavior and complex social relations.


1208 Cole Field House
College Park, MD 20742
Ph. (301) 405-2931
Fx. (301) 405-2868


Principal Staff

Ruth E. Zambrana, Ph.D., Director

Laura A. Logie, Ph.D., Assistant Director

Bonnie Thornton Dill, Ph.D., Founding Director, CRGE

Wendy Hall, Program Management Specialist

Beth Douthirt-Cohen, Communications Coordinator

Featured Events

Projects & Campaigns

Developing Research Studies include:

Limited research has been conducted on CVD risk factors and effective interventions among Latinos of Central and South American origin (CSA). Specific aims of this study are to: (1) assess health behaviors, social and psychosocial CVD risk factors among adult Central/South American men and women; (2) examine the associations between psychosocial, social and health behavior cardiovascular risk factors with clinical measurements among adult CSA men and women; and (3) conduct a pilot study with lay health promoters to test the effectiveness of literacy and linguistic appropriate health education using the Model for Improvement to improve CVD risk profiles among CSA adults. A cross-sectional health interview and examination survey of 400 CSA 30-64 year old adults residing in Montgomery County MD will be conducted, followed by an intervention with 30 lay community health promoters. The intervention includes 14 contact points; pre- and post-test instruments will measure effectiveness of the intervention.

Does Stress “Get Under the Skin” Differently By Social Status? Identifying Essential Bio-Social Pathways for Cardiovascular Disease Morbidity
Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is the major cause of death in the United States and racial/ethnic minorities have high incidence and prevalence rates compared to other groups in the population. According to the American Heart Association (2009), most recent prevalence rates for CVD were highest for blacks (45%) compared to Whites (33%) and Hispanics make up the largest ethnic group with increasing rates (32%) relative to their representation in the population. Although studies have documented population differences in CVD, the underlying biological and social risk factors that work concomitantly to account for these differences are not well researched or understood. Using secondary data from the 2006 health and Retirement Study Core Data File and Biomarker Supplement, we will examine the association between social status, SES, psycho-social adversities, biomarkers of disease, health status and health behaviors to assess their relationship(s) to CVD morbidity. Our main analytic interest in examining these relationships is to identify essential bio-social pathways of disease vulnerability, the mechanisms that mediate or moderate those relationships and the risk factors that place marginalized minorities (Blacks and Hispanics) at a disadvantage for CVD morbidity at older (50+yrs) rather than younger ages (<25yrs). This project is innovative since it is one of the very few studies to examine how social risk factors “get under the skin” differently for status groups in efforts to identify the important distal mechanisms involved that disproportionately increase VCD risk f or Blacks and Hispanics. Implications and outcomes of the study are aimed to help clinicians and health policy makers reduce disparities and increase cardiovascular risk prevention strategies to improve population health.

Stress for Success: The Impact of Occupational Stressors on the African American & Latino Professoriate
Occupational stress manifests itself in stress-related disorders (physical, mental), poor work performance, reduced productivity and retention of qualified employees in the workforce. This project investigates the relationships between occupational stressors, organizational factors, and moderators to explain variation in the physical and mental health of under-represented minority (URM) men and women faculty. Mixed methods are proposed to test the central hypothesis- URM women faculty will report a higher reported number of physical and mental health conditions than URM men. Data is collected from four sources; 1) survey, 2) focus groups, 3) in-depth interviews, and, 4) review of Curriculum Vitae. The sample will consist of 300 (150 males & 150 females) URM tenure track assistant or tenured associate professors in Research I and II institutions. These data will serve as the baseline for a larger longitudinal study to assess career path and progression over a three year follow-up time period.

Childhood Origins of Health Disparities in Young Adulthood
The primary objective in the proposed application is to determine the independent and interacting influences of gender, race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status (SES) at the family and community level on overweight and health among adolescents and young adults. Our central hypothesis is that social/cultural factors (e.g. preferences and norms) and structural factors (e.g. differential access to resources) interact to explain the disparities in weight status observed across racial/ethnic groups. Our collective experience in research on Hispanic, African American, Asian, and majority health, childhood obesity, the analysis of health outcomes, and our experience with management and analysis of large datasets make us uniquely qualified to conduct this research project.

Differences in Risk Factors by Hypertension Status Among Postmenopausal African American and Latino Women
The goal of this study is to investigate how various risk factors, socioeconomic status (SES), psychosocial, and access related factors, mediated by health behaviors and medical history, can increase our understanding of race/ethnic and gender differences in hypertension status (normotensive vs. hypertensive; treated vs. untreated; controlled vs. uncontrolled) and transitions in hypertension status for African American and Latino women ages 50 to79 years. Using secondary data analyses of the Women's' Health Initiative (WHI) for the African American (n=14,618) and Latino (n=6484) subsamples of the Observational Study (OS), Clinical Trials and Extended Study (2005-2010), we will address the risk factors that place racial/ethnic women at risk for critical levels of hypertension. Our main analytic interest in comparing hypertension status at baseline and transitions of hypertension status in subsequent years is to capture how risk factors can accumulate and exacerbate health conditions over time. Specifically, this study 1) examines the association between SES, psychosocial, and access factors with hypertension status (normotensive vs. hypertensive) and transitions in status and tests whether the associations are mediated by medical history and health behaviors among African American and Latino women, 2) assesses the underlying factors contributing to differences in two indicators of hypertension status a) treated vs. untreated hypertensives and b) controlled vs. uncontrolled hypertension status and transitions in status among African American and Latino women that have been identified as having hypertension, and 3) examines the relationship between access to care and geographic availability for health care services and hypertension status (normotensive vs. hypertensive and treated vs. untreated) and transitions in status for African American and Latino women. Of significance, assessing hypertension endpoints over time periods will allow a longitudinal assessment of the effects of SES on hypertension status. More importantly, the patterns of outcomes of the study will illuminate our understanding of the underlying factors that contribute to disparities in hypertension status for racial/ethnic women. This project is innovative since it is one of the very few studies to examine incidence and prevalence of hypertension status by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status using longitudinal data in efforts to help clinicians and health policy makers reduce disparities and increase cardiovascular risk prevention strategies to improve population health.

Past Research Program Areas:

Intersections, Identities, and Inequalities (Dr. Bonnie Thornton Dill, director)

This program area focuses on the development of theoretical, methodological and pedagogical approaches to the study of intersections of race, gender, class, ethnicity and other dimensions of inequality. It is an interdisciplinary research program area that seeks to elaborate how dimensions of inequality intersect, creating new and distinct social formations. This includes promoting research that contextualizes the lives and experiences of individuals and groups, as well as develops applications of knowledge to human problems. This scholarship embraces a wide range of approaches that permit complex and nuanced explorations. Intersectional analysis is also an effort to move beyond binary or oppositional analyses and toward an understanding of the ways the ideological, political, and economic systems of power construct and reconstruct one another. An intersectional approach, grounded in lived experience, provides the intellectual foundation for the pursuit of social justice.

Health and Social Well Being of Low Income Women, Children, and Families (Dr. Ruth E. Zambrana, director)

This program area seeks to build a more comprehensive and ethnic-specific scientific knowledge base on the effects of the intersection of poverty, institutional barriers, and other non-medical factors that contribute to adverse health status. This approach takes into account the influence of race, gender, and ethnicity to promote responsiveness in the development of future health interventions.

Material Culture/Visual Culture (Drs. Mary Corbin Sies and Angel David Nieves, co-directors)

The Material Culture/Visual Culture (MC/VC) program area is engaged in research on African American material and visual culture, and more generally on the material and visual culture of marginalized subgroups of North America. The group seeks to publicize the value of material and visual evidence for understanding the cultures of everyday life of American subcultures and to foster an environment in which scholars from different backgrounds can explore and refine research and theories for working with material and visual culture.

Schooling, Ethnic Communities and International Perspectives. (Dr. Lory J. Dance, director).

This Research Program Area is in the early stages of development. Led by sociologist Dr. Lory J. Dance, this area focuses on the uses of qualitative methodologies in the study of education in ethnic communities in the United States and internationally. The group also houses the Qualitative Research Interest Group (QRIG; co-directed by Drs. Lory J. Dance and Annette Lareau), which sponsored a colloquium series in fall 2005 on funding qualitative research projects.

Other Activities:

Intersectional Research Database. CRGE is home to the world's first online database devoted exclusively to intersectional research. The Intersectional Research Database (IRD), which was launched in summer 2005, currently features over 100 annotations of articles and books on intersectional issues. The IRD is updated weekly and will soon include audio, visual images, video and sound.

CRGE Graduate Colloquium. CRGE holds a monthly colloquium for graduate students that focuses on various topics related to intersectionality and social justice. Graduate students from across the disciplines participate through attendance and by sharing their own work at the end of each semester. Recent colloquium topics have dealt with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina; interdisciplinary job talks; intersections and sexualities; and the commodification of Black youth, which was led by Dr. Patricia Hill Collins.

Research Interest Groups (RIGS). RIGS are smaller research groups, each sponsored by a Research Program Area. RIGS are collaborative, interdisciplinary groups that conduct intersectional research. The RIGS aim to create groups that can assist their members in preparing and submitting proposals for federal, state, and private sector research grants in CRGE Research Program Areas.


Reports & Resources

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Opportunities, Grants & Fellowships

CRISP Scholars

CRGE Interdisciplinary Scholars Program (CRISP) provides scholars with an opportunity to learn firsthand the processes of research, publication, and administration through a mentoring relationship with CRGE faculty. The focus of this exceptional program is two-fold: rigorous training and dedicated mentoring. CrISP scholars are first- and second-year incoming graduate students from departments affiliated with CRGE.