About Us

The Social Justice in Health Lab is directed by Dr. Paul Perrin, an Associate Professor of Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). He is the Director of the VCU Health Psychology Doctoral Program and is also a core faculty member in the VCU Counseling Psychology Doctoral Program.

Members of the Social Justice in Health Lab include doctoral and undergraduate students at VCU sharing a common passion for working toward social justice in the context of disability and health. A fundamental goal of our research is to bring culturally sensitive and empirically supported behavioral health services to diverse underserved populations with disabilities and chronic health conditions, as well as to improve the health of populations who experience marginalization and oppression.

From this perspective, disparities in health are one of the most shocking and inhumane forms of oppression, and we believe that the academic and medical communities have a central role to play in their alleviation. “Social justice in health” encompasses three interrelated facets. These are:

  • Cultural, familial, and international approaches to disability rehabilitation and adjustment, particularly in underserved and minority communities.
  • Oppression’s (racism, heterosexism, stigma, etc.) influence on mental and physical health.
  • Social justice approaches to understand and dismantle oppression.