Faculty News

U-M Faculty, Staff on Race and Societal Climate

As protests take place across the nation to combat systemic racism and police violence during a pandemic that has disproportionately impacted African American communities, faculty and staff from across the University of Michigan are conducting research projects and sharing personal experiences to better understand the health implications of racial discrimination and the potential outcomes of current social movements. 

These important conversations, which are a part of ongoing efforts at U-M to have discussions about race through the lens of education, explore a wide array of racial inequities throughout society and how structural changes can be made. The faculty and staff featured in these episodes of Michigan Minds provide informative analyses and personal narratives to empower the U-M community, and the broader public through education and advocacy. 

How Racism-Related Stress Impacts the Health of African Americans

Enrique W. Neblett, Jr., PhD, professor of health behavior and health education at the U-M School of Public Health and associate director of the Detroit Academic-Community Urban Research Center, explains the toll of racial discrimination on the mental and physical health of young African Americans. 

Discussing Race, Social Movements, and Hope for Change 

Elizabeth James, program assistant in the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies (DAAS) at the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, discusses how race and social movements have evolved over the past several decades, and how inspired she is by the students who are speaking up against systemic racism in the United States. 

Understanding and Addressing Racial Health Inequities

Margaret Hicken, MPH, PhD, research assistant professor at the Institute for Social Research and the Division of Nephrology, discusses her research exploring how place, history and the environment factor into racial health inequities. She also talks about what led her to create the RacismLab, a transdisciplinary research collective working to better understand the impact of racism on health and well-being.

How Political Conflict and Participation Address Issues of Inequality

Christian Davenport, PhD, professor of political science and faculty associate at the Center for Political Studies, shares his insights on the current protests and political participation for social movements, and discusses his research on how police respond to protests. 

How COVID-19 is Impacting the Low-Wage Workforce

Marie-Anne Sanon Rosemberg, PhD, RN, assistant professor in the School of Nursing, discusses her research addressing health disparities among youth and adult working populations, and how COVID-19 is impacting the low-wage workforce, which is predominantly made up by racial and ethnic minorities.

How Structural Racism Generates Health Disparities

Michael Esposito, research fellow at the Survey Research Center at the Institute for Social Research, discusses how structural racism shapes health disparities and shares the findings of a study he conducted that shows police use-of-force is among the leading causes of death for young men of color in the US.

Exploring Social Movements in the Fight Against Racism

Matthew Countryman, PhD, associate professor of Afroamerican and African Studies, History, and American Culture and chair of the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, explores the 2020 demonstrations against systemic racism and police violence and how it compares to social movements throughout history.