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Vanderbilt LGBT Policy Lab


LGBT Policy Lab

Type: Vanderbilt Initiative Award (ViA)

The Vanderbilt LGBT Policy Lab will connect interdisciplinary faculty and students to broaden Vanderbilt’s international reputation on scholarship surrounding the correlates, causes, and consequences of LGBT-related public policies. Vanderbilt is currently one of a handful of top universities worldwide with multiple faculty members whose research directly addresses the intersections of LGBT policies and populations. This initiative will leverage unique intellectual resources from interdisciplinary scholars at Vanderbilt, create a course on LGBT Polices and Advocacy that could relate to multiple majors and programs across the university, complement a key component of the university’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion and position Vanderbilt as a world leader at the cutting edge of research on LGBT policies and populations. 

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people face immense social, health and economic challenges in the United States and abroad. Because of interpersonal and structural discrimination, LGBT people have worse mental and physical health outcomes compared to their heterosexual and non-transgender peers. They experience barriers to medical care and are frequently victims of hate crimes and direct acts of violence. LGBT individuals also experience higher rates of poverty, lower incomes and more labor market discrimination than non-LGBT individuals. Public policies toward LGBT populations may play important roles in ameliorating or exacerbating these structural factors, but evidence on the determinants and consequences of LGBT-related policies is severely limited and underfunded.

Vanderbilt LGBT Policy Lab Small Grants Program (2017-18)

Faculty Participants

Lead Faculty in bold

College of Arts & Science

School of Medicine (Clinical)

Law School

Divinity School

  • Ellen Armour, E. Rhodes and Leona B Carpenter Associate Professor of Feminist Theology

Peabody College

  • Matthew Shaw, Assistant Professor of Leadership, Poilcy and Organizations