UrbanKind Institute specializes in applied research and policy analysis that uses a critical, interdisciplinary lens. Rather than see the challenges facing urban people and environments as isolated, we recognize that they are fundamentally interconnected and believe that they must be analyzed as such. In all our work, we approach questions with a critical eye that gives credit where credit is due and that calls out policies and projects that continue to produce inequity and injustice.
Our Services include:
Examples of current projects:
The Pittsburgh Study is a long-term community-partnered research study based at the University of Pittsburgh and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Study partners with community members to learn together about child health and thriving and address root causes of inequity. The Study develops and tests interventions at different developmental stages and follows children and families in Allegheny County from before birth through high school.The goal of this health equity study is that “Every child in our region is healthy, thriving, and achieving their academic goals.” To do this, The Pittsburgh Study is partnering with communities to identify strengths and assets, developing and tailoring evidence-based, community-informed palliative interventions, and developing a child health data hub. UrbanKind Institute is involved in many parts of this project, as part of the Internal Advisory Team, the Policy & Place and Healthy Environments Strong Bodies committees, among others. Dr. Jamil Bey has also been central to the development of the Child Thriving Matrix to help neighborhood groups assess how their community is faring in supporting their children.
Since the spring of 2020, UrbanKind Institute has held a central role in the Black Equity Coalition. This coalition of physicians, epidemiologists, health care practitioners, social scientists, community funders, and government officials has been working to prioritize the health of Black and brown residents of Western Pennsylvania. To date, this work has focused on responding to COVID-19, especially in terms of equity-related data collection and sharing, contact tracing, raising public awareness about the threat of COVID-19 and the importance of vaccines. The coalition has had a meaningful impact at the state, regional, and local levels. The coalition continues this work as it broadens to address the underlying factors causing health inequities.
See www.blackequitypgh.org for more information.
UrbanKind Institute also conducts issue-specific research as part of our projects and initiatives, in collaboration with others, and independently. This work appears in peer-reviewed publications, reports, and white papers, among others. Topics have included: the importance of spaces for public conversations within Pittsburgh’s Black community; COVID-19 data; the location of children in Allegheny County relative to childcare and out-of-school time providers; the community impact of renovations to a community park; environmental justice in Pittsburgh and Appalachia; out-of-school programming for Black and Latino young men in Pittsburgh; the potential impact of Amazon HQ2; and cross-sectional equity and justice. Please see our publications page to read some of this work.