We are proud to announce that Monica De La Cruz, PhD student in Social Welfare at UC Berkeley, has been selected to participate in one of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's leadership programs. These programs connect changemakers across the country—from every profession and field—to learn from and work with one another in creating more just and thriving communities.
Specifically, Monica was selected for Health Policy Research Scholars. Designed for doctoral students from historically marginalized backgrounds and populations underrepresented in specific disciplines, Health Policy Research Scholars helps researchers from all fields apply their work to policies that advance equity and health while building a diverse field of leaders who reflect our changing national demographics.
As a member of the program's newest cohort, Monica will focus on ways to ameliorate family poverty as a means to positively impact children's health, specifically for communities of color. Disproportionate poverty in communities of color is the result of systemic racism and inequity that cannot be reversed through local interventions alone. Monica aims to translate her research into policies that will help dismantle these systems and shift the national discourse on family poverty to one that is both racially just and centers subsistence as a human right for all.
Monica is the second Berkeley Social Welfare doctoral student to join the Health Policy Research Scholars in recent years: Cristina Gomez-Vidal was selected in 2018. The highly competitive program provides participants with an annual stipend of up to $30,000 for up to four years.
Learn more about Health Policy Research Scholars and RWJF's other leadership programs, and meet other participants.