Rachel Hardeman & her daughter, via Jenn Ackerman.

Our Founding

Founding Vision

The work of antiracism is fueled by love, and love is what shaped the life and career of our Founding Director, Rachel Hardeman PhD, MPH. Born and raised in Minneapolis, she always loved her home but also saw from an early age that not everyone in her community had the same opportunities to be healthy.

Throughout middle school and high school, Dr. Hardeman spent many evenings and weekends going to hemodialysis appointments with her grandmother, who suffered from kidney failure. Her Black grandmother experienced so much racist discrimination and indifference from her medical providers that she eventually decided to stop the treatment that was keeping her alive.

This loss, and also the understanding that it could have been prevented, shaped Dr. Hardeman's future career. She was fueled by love for her grandmother, and her mother, and eventually her own daughter. That love fueled Dr. Hardeman to pursue an education researching health inequities for Black birthing people and their babies.

Dr. Hardeman built her career on identifying, understanding, and ultimately dismantling structural racism so all people have the same opportunities to be healthy. She developed networks of partnerships with community leaders, health care providers, policy makers, and advocacy organizations to collectively address the problems of structural racism. She created the Measuring & Operationalize Racism to achieve Health Equity Lab ​​​​​(MORheLab) to innovate antiracism research and provide authentic mentorship for aspiring scholars.

And in 2021, with the support of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross) and the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Dr. Hardeman founded the Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity (CARHE, pronounced "care").

My goal is to manifest racial justice so that all, ALL women and girls—particularly Black women and girls—get to live their full greatness and glory.

Rachel Hardeman PhD, MPH | Founding Director

Founding Gift

On February 24, 2021, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross) made a $5 million philanthropic gift to the University of Minnesota School of Public Health to establish the Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity. Their gift reflects Blue Cross’s long-term commitment to innovation, community leadership and involvement, and making a healthy difference in people’s lives through increasing racial and health equity, transforming communities, and creating a healthier state.

We are grateful for their support and their faith in our mission, and we are proud of our ongoing partnership in the work of antiracism. 

Indigenous Land Acknowledgement

CARHE was founded in Minneapolis, Minnesota on the traditional, ancestral, and contemporary lands of the Dakota people. Our home institution, the University of Minnesota, is a land-grant institution established through the Morrill Act of 1862, meaning it was founded because the United States government failed to uphold the 1805, 1837, and 1851 treaties with the Dakota nation​. We owe an ongoing debt to the Dakota people, and we are committed to ongoing efforts to recognize, support, empower, and advocate with Indigenous peoples in Minnesota and beyond.

Banner image: Rachel Hardeman PhD, MPH smiling with her daughter, via Jenn Ackerman of Ackerman + Gruber.

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