Meet the Inaugural Policy Scholars

Through the Policy Scholars program, E Pluribus Unum seeks to engage with researchers to advance public policy by providing independent, in-depth and insightful policy recommendations that advance equity and address systemic racism in America. The program will foster the creation of high-quality research and innovative policy prescriptions that can be impactful in the American South.

Leslie Taylor Grover, Ph.D.

President-Founder, Assisi House, Inc.

Dr. Grover will be working in conjunction with Dr. Hines on the production of research and a set of workshops that provide actionable tools for policy makers to address pandemic induced housing challenges, a model of engagement for communities addressing contentious subjects, and addressing burnout among frontline workers during the pandemic.

Learn more about Dr. Grover

Revathi Hines, Ph.D.

Vice President, Assisi House, Inc.

Dr. Hines will be working in conjunction with Dr. Grover on the production of research and a set of workshops that provide actionable tools for policy makers to address pandemic induced housing challenges, a model of engagement for communities addressing contentious subjects, and addressing burnout among frontline workers during the pandemic.

Learn more about Dr. Hines

Mark Little, Ph.D.

Executive Direction, CREATE, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

In his research, Dr. Little will leverage his combined experience researching southern economic development and his work with the United Nations (UN) to explore how the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals can be applied to the American South to address longstanding racial inequities.

Learn more about Dr. Little

Gregory N. Price, Ph.D.

Professor of Economics, University of New Orleans

As an economist, Dr. Price’s work will bring both an economic and a racial equity lens to examining the distribution of environmental quality, entrepreneurship opportunities for the justice involved, and the distribution of recovery funding.

Learn more about Dr. Price

Stephen Sills, Ph.D.

Professor and Director of The Center for Housing and Community Studies, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Leveraging his years of experience as an applied researcher, Dr. Sills will provide innovative approaches for community leaders to uncover and address disparities linked to historical disinvestment and discrimination in housing.

Learn more about Dr. Sills

Scholarship Program Focus

Workshop: Addressing Community Polarization Using The Story Exchange Model

In this workshop participants will learn what story exchanges are, how they impact community well-being, and how to conduct story exchanges in their communities.

This will be particularly useful for cities seeking to examine the underlying issues related to low COVID vaccination rates, poor participation in city programs, and other public health or city initiatives. This model was developed for polarized communities based on our work in Baton Rouge, Louisiana – Race Matters in Baton Rouge. The ability to commune and share stories has had a powerful impact in Baton Rouge for those sharing stories and those seeking to make positive change in the community.

Policy Brief: The Lived Experiences of Unhoused Women During The COVID-19 Pandemic

The pandemic has had a disproportionately negative impact on women, and on women of color markedly so. They have borne the brunt of job losses, have higher rates of negative health impacts, and these issues have been exacerbated by the instability of housing in many communities. The purpose of this brief is to present policy recommendations for unhoused women during COVID. This epidemic has decreased stable housing access and increased spells of being unhoused among women and families. Based on interviews and focus groups of unhoused women, this brief addresses three questions:

  1. How have unhoused women experienced this COVID-19 pandemic in terms of housing?
  2. What recommendations do the women have based on how they have experienced these times for solutions to their experiences?
  3. What strategies are helpful for making housing within reach for unhoused women?

Workshop: Addressing COVID Burnout Among Frontline Workers

Job burnout is a special type of work-related stress. It is a set of symptoms, both physical and emotional exhaustion, that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity. Research has shown the use of art can not only decrease these symptoms, but also begin to reverse them as well. The researchers will conduct a series of four 1-hour workshops for community leaders, frontline workers, city officials and other groups who have been caring for others during COVID.

About the Policy Scholars

Part of our three-pronged focus at E Pluribus Unum is to champion transformative policy change. We have worked to identify where inequities exist, their structural causes and the environments and conditions that perpetuate them. Now, we are working to accelerate change to create equal access to opportunity, democracy, safety, and protection under the law at the local, state and federal levels.

With the Policy Scholars program, E Pluribus Unum aims to help illuminate the policy challenges policymakers are facing while dealing with the compounded challenges of multiple systemic failures of the national response to the pandemic.

By elevating diverse voices from southern institutions and researchers with unique experiences and insights, E Pluribus Unum hopes to advance public policies that help all Americans prosper in strong, fair and sustainable communities.