Courses and seminars on race, culture, and health

My teaching is not easily separated from my research and is used to contribute to the whole of my scholarship.  I have unique practical experience in pedagogy, having taught in both conventional and unconventional classrooms. I facilitate students’ learning by drawing on 15 years of laboratory and public health experience in medical and public health schools and the Federal government. I have taught undergraduates, high school students and teachers, graduate and professional students, and community members.  Diversity is central to my work as a teacher-scholar and I employ a multiplicity of perspectives throughout the learning experience. My teaching practice is grounded in interdisciplinary scholarship and I encourage students to work outside traditional academic silos, both within and outside of the classroom.  Examples of my courses are below.

Structural Racism: Causes of Health Inequities in the U.S.

  • University of Michigan
  • Introductory Training

Course Description:

Racial health disparities – differences in health outcomes based on race – are rampant in the U.S., and many incorrectly assume these are due to differences in behavior or genetics. To understand these differences, and ultimately identify solutions to eliminate these disparities, we need to dig deeper and look at the root causes. We need to examine how our socio-political institutions have racial inequities embedded within their policies and practices. We need to re-examine history to learn how and why race was created and how it was used to advance the interests of whites. We need to examine how state violence is selectively used to reinforce racial inequities.

Learners in this course will be guided through these examinations in order to gain a deeper understanding of why health disparities exist in the U.S. and what will be necessary to eliminate these disparities. Answering questions pertaining to course materials will give learners the opportunity to self-reflect in an effort to deepen their thinking about health inequities.

To learn more or enroll in this Michigan Online course please click HERE

Public Health Systems: Achievements and Challenges

  • University of Michigan
  • Undergraduate Required Lecture

Course Description:

This course will provide an overview of the essential role of the public health system, which includes healthcare systems, government organizations, and non-governmental organizations, in improving health in the US. The top achievements in public health will be critically examined along with current and emerging challenges and threats to human health and well-being, including health inequities. Mechanisms and measures for evaluating human health and illness will be discussed. This course will emphasize multidisciplinary and multi-sector approaches to health promotion and disease prevention

Race, Disease, and History

  • Emory University
  • Undergraduate seminar and writing requirement

Course Description:
This class integrated perspectives from US history of medicine, social psychology, behavioral medicine, bioethics, medical sociology, and clinical science to address big questions like:  What is disease?  What contributes to the social construction of illness?  How is disease influenced by economics, politics, culture, and society?  What are the roles of providers, patients, advocacy organizations, and government in the framing of disease?  Using sickle cell disease and several other disease models as examples, we examined how interdisciplinary fields have informed our thinking about the relationship between race and health.

Race, Ethnicity, Culture, and Health Policy

  • University of Michigan
  • Graduate seminar

Course Description: 
This course will critically examine aspects of health and health policy from the state and federal perspective, along the axes of race, ethnicity, culture, and place.  Though the class is taught primarily from a U.S. – based perspective, we will cover some topics from an international lens in order to both explore domestic policy within a global context and to consider the international implications of policies and the structures that they create.   Through an interdisciplinary and in-depth engagement with case studies, theoretical tools, anthropological, and public health literature, we will explore social constructions of health, reproductive justice, the social determinants of health and health disparities; environmental inequalities; development and the governance of disease; and the role of states and social movements in the development of health policy.

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