Over the years, as Kennedy Krieger Institute has evaluated, treated and supported thousands of children with emotional, behavioral and neurological conditions, we’ve identified a pattern: Children growing up in poverty, hunger, overcrowded schools or under-resourced communities, or exposed to violence or racism, are at a dramatically increased risk for developing serious health problems. They experience daily trauma. Their education suffers. Children of color experience lowered expectations and reduced opportunities, not to mention fear. These factors can lead to depression, anxiety, and other emotional and physical health concerns that can impact them for a lifetime.

In response, Kennedy Krieger has developed plans for a new center to study the neuroscience of social injustice—the ways that social injustice affects a child’s developing brain and nervous system, and ultimately, their overall health. The center will also develop solutions to address the effects that social injustice has on children.