Global Inequality Research Initiative

Global Inequality Research Initiative

The Global Inequality Research Initiative is an interdisciplinary, vertically integrated research initiative that emphasizes a judicious application of mixed methods from the social sciences, both quantitative and qualitative, and the treatment of representation and identity from the humanities. Simultaneously GIRI serves as a clearinghouse for the best available data and research on group-based inequality. GIRI promotes remote systematic and comprehensive exploration of complex policy-relevant aspects of group identity in five domains of significant intergroup disparity:

  • Wealth
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Political participation, and
  • Health and well-being  
The Global Inequality Research Seminar is currently crossed listed with:
  • African and African American Studies,
  • Sociology
  • Public Policy
  • Political Science
  • Economics  

Current GIRI Seminar

Examining Neuroscience, Genetics and Inequality - Fall 2017

The 2017 Fall Global Inequality Research Institute (GIRI) Seminar Examining Neuroscience, Genetics and Inequality will explore controversial and important issues related to race, genetics and inequality, how they are studied, and whether (and how) such studies should inform medical practice, criminal and other legal actions, personal identity claims, health disparities, and social policy. Should we phase out the use of racial terminology in biological sciences? If so, will the conventional terminology be replaced by new language that preserves the same ideas? And are those ideas actually incorrect? If we deem illegitimate genetic explanations for differences in group-based behaviors and outcomes, is there still a space for genetic explanations for differences in individual behaviors and outcomes? The course convenes Wednesdays 11:45 pm – 2:15 pm in Keohane 4D 201 SEM.

  • Race in a Bottle: The Story of BiDil and Racialized Medicine in a Post-Genomic Age - Jonathan Kahn (2014)
  • Medicating Race – Anne Pollock​ (2012)

GIRI serves as a clearinghouse for the best available data and research on group-based inequality. GIRI promotes remote systematic and comprehensive exploration of complex policy-relevant aspects of group identity in five domains of significant intergroup disparity:

  • Wealth
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Political participation, and
  • Health and well-being  

The Global Inequality Research Seminar is currently crossed listed with:

  • African and African American Studies,
  • Sociology
  • Public Policy
  • Political Science
  • Economics 

Past GIRI Events


GIRI Capstone Conference: "Social Determinants of Health"
Duke Integrative Medicine
Monday, April 18, 2016

Featured speakers included Chandra Ford, Associate Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Her areas of expertise include HIV/AIDS prevention and care; HIV testing among older adults; the social determinants of health/social epidemiology; conceptualizing and measuring racism, race and ethnicity. Jonathan Livingston, Associate Professor of Psychology at North Carolina Central University. His areas of interests are African American psychological well-being and the cumulative effects of racism and social inequalities on African American mental health and health disparities. Additional areas of interest include program evaluation, community development, and education reform. Wizdom Powell, Associate Professor in the Department of Health Behavior and trained population health disparities research scientist and clinical psychologist. She is recognized nationally for the impact of her work addressing social determinants of health inequities among boys and men of color. Damon Tweedy is the author of Black Man in a White Coat, a New York Times Bestseller selected as one of the top books of 2015 by TIME, Booklist, and Library Journal. Dr. Tweedy is a graduate of Duke University School of Medicine. He is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center and a staff physician at the Durham Veteran Affairs Medical Center. He has published articles about race and medicine in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Chicago Tribune, as well as in various medical journals.


GIRI Capstone Conference: "Telling Identity Stories: Race, Class and Psychology"
Nasher Museum of Art Lecture Hall
Monday, November 16, 2015

The capstone conference for the Global Inequality Research Initiative featured a keynote talk by Stephanie Rowley, a professor in the School of Education, the Department of Psychology and the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts at the University of Michigan; Brittney Cooper, an assistant professor of women's and gender studies and Africana studies at the Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences; and Keisha L. Bentley-Edwards, an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas, Austin.