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Rural Nebraska


What are the contours of rural Nebraska, the people, their ideas, their hopes, and their well-being? What are the cultural currents, past and present, that shape the characteristics of our communities?

These projects began with a focus on health disparities in rural Nebraska through the Minority Health Disparities Initiative (MHDI). Over time this focus has broadened to include an inquiry into the ethos of Nebraska and the ideology that shapes and is shaped by, the history and contemporary configurations of this place. One of these projects endeavors uncover this ideology, to render it “in plain sight,” we delve into those taken-for-granted assumptions––those things that go without saying––about the rural, the farmer, the pioneer, in an effort to lay bare those currents that shape our current and historical understanding of the Rural in Nebraska.

About the Minority Health Disparities Initiative

MHDI works directly with communities to develop collaborative transdisciplinary research teams. Together we build innovative research and intervention projects that address ongoing health issues, from infrastructure needs to rural drug abuse. Our rigorous mixed-methods approach combines social science quantitative research strategies with community-based participatory research to facilitate community relationship building for health disparities researchers who seek to have an impact on the communities that their research serves. Throughout all of our projects, we work to translate transdisciplinary health disparities research into identifiable community impact. To learn more about our projects, please visit the MHDI website for more information: mhdi.unl.edu.

Recent Blog Posts for Community Impact in Rural Nebraska

REACH Lab Publishes First Policy Brief "Investing in the Safety and Health of Nebraska Communities Through the Authorization and Implementation

Food Deserts and the Farm-to-Fork Movement Nebraska is known for its crop, and for its stature in the agricultural economy. Land

Gladys Godinez, a participant in the Minority Health Disparities Initiative's  Health Voice Vision project, was recently interviewed by Chuck Schroeder, the Directer of

The REACH lab's Minority Health Disparities Initiative (MHDI) project has partnered with other community organizations on an exhibit at the Nebraska

UNL's Quantitative Life Sciences Initiative and Holland Computing Center hosted the first-ever Datapalooza this November. Datapalooza was a competitive data

Professor Colleen Syron, MHDI Faculty Affiliate, asked design students in the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts to create

Project Details


UNL’s Minority Health Disparities Initiative was launched in July, 2012. Our core funding is provided by Tobacco Settlement Funds provided by UNL’s Office of Research and Economic Development. We are currently soliciting internal and external funding to support innovative initiatives driven by our transdisciplinary research community collaborations.


Kim Gocchi Carrasco coordinates and runs the Minority Health Disparities Initiative under the direction of Kirk Dombrowski. Together with our faculty partner, we are building transdisciplinary research alliances between UNL departments, University of Nebraska campuses, and community stakeholders. Find our more about MHDI at our website.

Engaging Community Knowledge