RWJF Data Visualization of Structural Racism and Place

Below is a summary assembled by the Research & Innovation Office (RIO). Please see the full solicitation for complete information about the funding opportunity.

Program Summary

RWJF is launching this call for proposals (CFP) to enhance and support new and novel efforts by data creators and/or data users to effectively communicate, using data, how conditions of place are shaped by structural racism in ways that negatively impact community health.  Conditions of place, or “community conditions,” refers to the social, economic, physical, environmental, and political determinants of health and wellbeing, and how they create the context for a place (e.g., neighborhood, city, region). Conditions of place can consist of tangible concepts such as the built environment, including water infrastructure and housing, and  more abstract concepts such as safety or belonging. 

RWJF’s Healthy Communities theme supports equitable community development, whereby cities and regions develop the conditions of place that help all residents, and specifically residents from populations that historically have been marginalized, reach their best possible health and wellbeing. Therefore, we are inviting proposals that enhance communications highlighting evidence connecting the impacts of structural racism on the built environment, income, wealth, employment, community safety and policing, environmental conditions, housing, racial segregation, transportation, and other conditions, with inequitable outcomes for health and wellbeing. 

The data visualizations that result from this work will not only visualize structural racism’s impact on communities but can also be a powerful communications tool to advance policy change efforts and programming by persuading audiences (e.g., policymakers, media, community advocates) of the legacy and current consequences of racism.  

The purpose of this CFP is to provide grants to up to eight interdisciplinary teams that each consist of researchers/data producers, data scientists, communications experts, designers, and national social change networks/alliances or national-level social change organizations. The teams will create data visualizations or data visualization tools that have national coverage and can be disaggregated down to smaller geographies as a tool to create easy-to-understand visualizations of structural racism’s impact on place, health, and wellbeing. 


CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST May 15, 2023

Sponsor Application Deadline: 1:00pm MST June 2, 2023

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Project Proposal Narrative (3 pages maximum): 1) Provide a brief overview of the research/project question(s) that your visualization seeks to answer and why they are relevant to addressing structural racism, place, and health; 2) Describe the project methods and data sources, how it meets the eligibility criteria, and how these will address the project question(s); 3) List a specific audience and or policy debate to which the resulting visualization(s) can be applied; 4) Describe what the activities will produce and how the expected need will be met, impacted, or changed as a result of this project; 5) Describe your project team and roles, organizational qualifications, and their experience with addressing structural racism, data science, data visualization, influencing mindsets, and connecting with local needs. Provide their experience with developing and disseminating data visualization to communities and expertise with community engagement; 6) Describe timeline of key activities related to objectives and milestones related to implementation and impact.  
  • PI Curriculum Vitae
  • Budget Overview (1 page maximum): A basic budget outlining project costs is sufficient; detailed OCG budgets are not required.

To access the online application, visit:


A collaboration of multiple organizations or parties is required. The collaboration must include at least one individual or organization in each of the following sectors: (1) researcher/data producer; (2) communications expert (e.g., generalist, creative lead, or graphic designer); and (3) national-level social change organization, network, or   alliance committed to advancing racial and health equity, who have relationships and/or reach to engage aligned community organizations or affiliates. 

Data resources with national coverage and the ability to scale down to smaller units of analysis, like county, city, and/or census tract and that can provide disaggregated data will be preferred. However, data resources that have wide coverage of multiple cities, rural areas, or regions will also be considered. Single state, county, or city datasets do not qualify.

While each collaborating organization must be described in detail in the proposal, only one organization may represent the collaboration and be the lead contact in the application process. 

Limited Submission Guidelines

Lead organizations may only submit one proposal.

Award Information

Average Award Amount: $100,000 - $250,000

Expected Number of Awards: 8

Award Duration: 1 year

Review Criteria

  • Responsiveness to CFP Goals:
    • Poses clear question(s) that are related to structural racism’s impact on conditions of place (see definition above), health, and wellbeing in a way that complements the work and programming needs of a national-level organization/network/alliance.
    • Clearly describes how the proposed activities will enhance the communications capacity of the data provider to be a better partner to national entities advancing policy efforts that needs support from conveying or measuring racism, health, and community conditions of place.
    • Identifies a specific intended audience for the visualization and/or policy debate to which the data and resulting visualizations can be applied.
  • Data Source: Data source that will effectively address the project question(s) and meet the criteria outlined above in the eligibility criteria (national resource that can scale down to smaller units of analysis or, e.g., multiple cities, regions, counties). Data sources should already exist at the time the proposal is submitted, and members of the proposed team must already have access to the data at the time the proposal is submitted. This project will not fund data collection. 
  • Deliverables: Identifies what product(s) will be produced, how they address the work or programming needs of the national-level organization/network/alliance, and how novel they are at communicating the connection between racism, place, and health. 
  • Outlines a timeline that is feasible and scope of work that can be completed in one year. 
  • Team Capacity and Expertise: Proposes a project team with in-house subject matter expertise, including any partner organizations that have experience in (1) data visualization, (2) data science, (3) communications, and (4) national-level organization/network/alliance. 
  • Track Record: Experience collaborating with experts and practitioners in theoretical and operational understanding of how racism works. 
  • Appropriateness of budget vis-à-vis project activities and capacities needed to support those activities.
  • Overarching requirement: Alignment of organizational vision and values, excitement about this work, and commitment to close collaboration and thought partnership with RWJF.