Healthy Communities

Where we live, work, play, go to school, and pursue our daily activities says a lot about who we are. It says a lot about who we see every day—and who is not a part of our lives. In an ideal world, communities are racially and socioeconomically diverse. They are free of pollution and toxic waste. Infrastructure is strong, public transportation is thriving, education and job opportunities are equally available to all. At the Institute, scholars are looking at the factors and forces that shape our communities and trying to bridge the gap between reality and the world we want to live in.  

Community Studies Program

UCSC’s pioneering community studies program provides a distinctive pedagogy of integrating classroom learning and extended field study. One of their areas of program focus is health justice, a multidimensional concept that emphasizes that health is both a state of well-being (physical, mental, social) and a capacity to create and improve health at individual, community, and institutional/structural levels. In this context, health justice refers to the fair distribution of health care and fair distribution of opportunities to prevent illness, build well-being for all individuals, communities, and neighborhoods, and reduce suffering wherever possible.