The Cook Center has several programs based on researching inequality in our communities and engaging scholars of all levels.

Locally, the Initiative on Poverty and Inequality examines poverty in Durham and Orange counties and engages undergraduate and graduate students in historical research about the origins of poverty and the modern mechanisms in place for combatting poverty. The Young Scholars Research Institute mentors Durham Public School students in a two-week free summer program where students learn basic research skills and about the foundations of inequality.

Across universities, the Diversity Initiative for Tenure in Economics, which is run out of the Center, mentors new faculty from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds (particularly black, Latino, and Native American) in the economics field throughout the job and tenure application process. Generally, our research engages scholars from various fields and academic backgrounds.

Globally, the Global Inequality Research Initiative (GIRI) employs interdisciplinary research methods to study issues of inequality. Each semester a GIRI course is offered for undergraduate and graduate students where they are required to create research projects with the intention of publishing their findings.