University of Minnesota Alumni Association

Up Front

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

Photo by Jenn Ackerman

RACHEL HARDEMAN (M.P.H. ’11, Ph.D. ’14), founding director of the U of M’s Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity (CARHE), was named a member of the 2024 TIME100 in late April. The list recognizes 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,” says Hardeman. “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. 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.”

Hardeman’s antiracism and community-engaged research is grounded in Minnesota communities. She was born and raised in Minneapolis, earned her Ph.D. at the U of M School of Public Health (SPH), and is a faculty member at SPH.

Hardeman’s current work is anchored in CARHE, which she founded in 2021, a year after she was named the first Blue Cross Endowed Professor of Health and Racial Equity. Studying how racism impacts health outcomes, particularly for the maternal health of Black Americans, continues to guide CARHE’s work, which is made possible by a philanthropic gift from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.

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 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.

Hardeman with her daughter, Leila, whome she calls the inspiration for her work.
Photo by Jenn Ackerman

“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,” says Melinda Pettigrew, dean of SPH.

“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,” Pettigrew says. “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.” 

If you liked these stories, Minnesota Alumni magazine publishes four times a year highlighting U of M alumni and University activities. Early access to stories and a print subscription are benefits of being an Alumni Association member. Join here to receive a printed copy at home.

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