May 1, 2021
As an organization, the LRA is committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in all our work—not only because it is the right thing to do, but because lupus is a disease that disproportionately impacts people of color—particularly women.
While it has been long established that 90 percent of those with lupus are women and that it is up to three times more prevalent in women of color than Caucasian women, recent evidence raises even greater cause for concern. Previously ranked among the top 20 causes of death in all women, this figure rose to shocking new levels. Lupus is now recognized as the 5th and 6th leading cause of death among Black and Hispanic women ages 15-34.
In an effort to address those most at risk, the LRA is expanding our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Programs (DEI) in 2021, beginning with the implementation of two new initiatives. In the research arena, our new Career Development Awards to Promote Diversity in Lupus Research fosters greater engagement of underrepresented minority scientists at various stages of their careers through a combination of grant funding and mentorship.
And to make sure that new drugs are tested among those patients most likely to need them, our Community-based Health Action Network to Generate trial participation and Eliminate disparities, or CHANGE Project, aims to increase clinical trial participation and retention among minorities diagnosed with lupus in the United States through a community-driven approach. The LRA’s DEI Programs will ensure that people of color have more of a say and better representation in both the research and clinical trials.
As the program grows, more updates will be forthcoming. Stay tuned!