Research, Scholarship and Creative Work

IRISE has developed its existing programming to include a variety of opportunities for students, faculty and the community to engage in research and advocacy projects related to inequality including, but not limited to, project grants, workshops, lecture series, course development and community outreach.   

IRISE identified racial inequality in education and health as its main focus of research for the 2018-2020 academic years. Specifically, the research mission of IRISE is to support community engaged interdisciplinary research that addresses racial disparity through qualitative or quantitative methodology, creative works, as well as projects that provide policy prescription or analysis. Given the interrelated nature of education, health, housing and income, we will consider all projects that illuminate the impact of racial inequality in our region consistent with the vision of DU Impact 2025.  IRISE has supported the following research projects through grant funds and/or postdoctoral fellowships.  

Our Grantees

Women of DU History

Seeking Grace

The research team has conducted oral histories with living alums, conducted extensive original research to identify early alumnae, and developed an exhibition documenting the history of early (pre-1945) Black women at DU.

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North High School's Lobby

This is My Denver

What kinds of stories can young people tell if they write about their neighborhoods, using the memories of established residents? With support from Esteban Gómez, and Tribal Zyphers, students at North High School will produce short-form documentaries.

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people in line at unemployment office

Jobs With Justice

Dr. Sigumbe Muyeba and Dr. Rebecca Galemba of Korbel are leading a Jobs With Justice evaluation project of the I-70 corridor construction job targets for women and minorities set by Denver City Council. 

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GRASP participantslearning how to silkscreen


Gang Rescue and Support Project (GRASP) is a peer-run intervention program that works with youth who are at-risk of gang involvement or are presently active in gangs, helps families of gang victims, and serves as a youth advocate.

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Man speaking at a rally for Our Voice Our Schools

Righteous Rage Institute

Led by IRISE Community Scholar Hasira "Soul" Ashemu, The Righteous Rage Institute creates a powerful pathway educating emerging leaders, to transform acts of injustice from MOMENTS INTO MOVEMENTS for change.

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Pools of water at a treatment plant

Clean Water Project

The Commerce City Clean Water Project is producing a best practices guide for local and state government agencies. The guide will encourage partnerships and collaboration and provide opportunities for data sharing, information dissemination and the development of research questions.

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Woman pulling book from the shelf in the library


Our Stories, Our Medicine Archive (OSOMA) is a community-based, community-owned archive that foregrounds traditional Indigenous health knowledge and their implications for improving chronic diseases.

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Social Movement Support Lab

Where University of Denver students, faculty, staff and alums work alongside communities fighting for racial justice.

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Health Equity Community Exchange

The Health Equity Community Exchange is an online public use database culminating from a year long environmental scan of health equity in the state of CO.  The website facilitates collaboration and coordination between a variety of entities and also houses an extensive resource library. 

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spirituals photo

Spirituals Project

The Spirituals project is a collaborative interdisciplinary research project that examines the relationships between music, social justice, and race. The project is centered on The Spirituals Project (TSP) is a multicultural, multigenerational, and interfaith 70-member community choir founded in 1998 with a unique tripartite mission: performance, social justice, and education based at the University of Denver's Lamont School of Music. 

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R.A.G.E. logo on smart phone screen



RAGE accordingly offers critical insight into one of the most vexing topics of our day. In an era of Black Lives, the Wall, the Flint Water Crisis, and Standing Rock (to name but a few), everyone is talking about race. Not surprisingly, race scholars have often been front and center in these formulations as seen in scores of recent books, op-eds, essays, blogs, articles and resulting backlash.


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