The Lab seeks to explain uneven racial and class distributions of resources and risk in higher education systems and economies—and to help reverse those inequalities.
The Higher Education, Race, and the Economy (HERE) Lab was established in 2021 by Dr. Laura Hamilton and Dr. Charlie Eaton. As a community and policy-engaged research institution, the Lab’s mission is to understand and address disparities in the distribution of resources and risks within higher education systems and economies.
These inequities are not inevitable or immutable.
We believe social science has a role to play in the creation of a more robust, publicly supported, and equitable higher education system and economy. The Lab contributes systematic empirical analyses that help to inform pressing social debates and develop policy initiatives around postsecondary inequality. At every stage of our research, we collaborate with community organizations, policy advocates, and policymakers.
We are housed in the University of California-Merced, a Minority-Serving Institution located in the Central Valley of California—a region that is both historically under resourced and a generative space to do this work. The Lab empowers racially marginalized and economically disadvantaged students and postdoctoral scholars, who are the next generation of higher education and socio-economic thinkers. They are the future of higher education and the economy, and the HERE Lab is part of the transformation.