Rachel Hardeman

Dr. Rachel Hardeman named one of TIME100 Most Influential People in the World

Virgil McDill | April 17, 2024

Rachel Hardeman, founding director of the University of Minnesota’s landmark Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity (CARHE), was named a member of the 2024 TIME100 this morning. This year’s compilation recognized the world’s 100 most influential personalities and leaders throughout many cross-sections of society, from discovery and research to politics, policy, arts and athletics.

“This is an incredible honor. I hope this moment deepens our collective awareness and understanding of structural racism, health equity, and the shared work to dismantle those barriers so all people have the same opportunities to be healthy,” said Hardeman. “The work of antiracism can be so hard, but we keep pushing because we are fueled by love. It is an immense privilege to be part of a network of colleagues, students, community leaders, health care providers, policymakers and advocates making meaningful progress in Minnesota and beyond. I would not be receiving this honor without their support and partnership.”

“We are inspired by the dedication of Dr. Hardeman and the many contributors to the critically important research we see coming from the Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity. This recognition solidifies the importance of this work globally and the leadership of the University’s School of Public Health,” said U of M Interim President Jeff Ettinger. “This honor reflects years of meaningful and impactful work. It is a shining example of how the University of Minnesota brings together amazing people like Dr. Hardeman and all her colleagues who are deeply committed to our mission to serve communities, here in Minnesota and around the world.”

Hardeman’s antiracism and community-engaged research has always been grounded in Minnesotan communities. Hardeman was born and raised in Minneapolis, earned her Ph.D. at the U of M School of Public Health, and is a faculty member at the School of Public Health. Hardeman’s current work is anchored in CARHE, which she founded in 2021, the year after she was named the first Blue Cross Endowed Professor of Health and Racial Equity. The intrepid spirit to openly consider how racism impacts health outcomes, particularly for the maternal health of Black Americans, continues to guide CARHE’s work. Its work is made possible by an aspirational philanthropic gift from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.

CARHE research has brought transformational knowledge to the field of public health — and across most health disciplines — devoted to advancing understanding of how to identify and overcome structural racism to address the root causes of health inequities. Through the contributions of researchers ranging from prolific leaders in their field to graduate students gaining meaningful, hands-on research experience, CARHE has developed a well-earned reputation for working collaboratively with communities to design groundbreaking research projects and share those outcomes with the world.

A nationally recognized reproductive health equity researcher, Hardeman’s work includes a partnership with Roots Community Birth Center in North Minneapolis, one of five Black-owned freestanding birth centers in the United States. Published in journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and the American Journal of Public Health, Hardeman’s overarching goal is to contribute to a body of knowledge that links structural racism to health in a tangible way, identifies opportunities for intervention, and dismantles the systems, structures and institutions that allow inequities to persist.

“Dr. Hardeman’s vision set a course that made today possible and her determination to see that vision through is what brought us to this point, one where the U of M has become a destination for antiracism research that improves health for us all,” said Melinda Pettigrew, dean of the U of M School of Public Health. “We join the world in celebrating Dr. Hardeman today, while also celebrating the incredible accomplishments of everyone at the Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity. Their work has made health inequities due to racism more visible and offered evidence about how to dismantle them, and we look forward to more of this critical work in the future.”

The full list and related tributes appear in the April 29, 2024 issue of TIME, available on newsstands on Friday, April 19, and now at time.com/time100.


About the University of Minnesota School of Public Health
The U of M School of Public Health improves the health and wellbeing of populations and communities around the world by bringing innovative research, learning and concrete actions to today’s biggest health challenges. We prepare some of the most influential leaders in the field, and partner with health departments, communities and policymakers to advance health equity for all. Learn more: sph.umn.edu.

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