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Research Awards

While the 19th Amendment barred states from denying voting rights based on sex, it failed to address the broad disenfranchisement of large numbers of Americans-most notably Black Americans. The Gender and Racial Justice Scholars Awards awards will support student research studying structural inequalities related to gender and race to help us understand our history and promote democracy, inclusion, and empowerment.

The awards provide $5,000 per individual or team project with a one-year duration. Awardees will participate in three research roundtables, and produce a poster for presentation at the March 2022 Gender and Racial Justice Scholars Research Colloquium.

Sabrina Axster, Krieger School of Arts & Sciences

Arresting Movement: The Political Economy of Immigration Detention in Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom
Mentored by Erin Chung

Immigration detention is an almost ubiquitous global phenomenon. Equally ubiquitous are the human rights violations that occur within immigration detention. Through a comparative study of Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom, this project looks at the relationship between prisons and immigration detention and how attention to the racialized boundaries of inclusion and exclusion of the welfare state can help us see their interlinkages.

Natasha Chugh, Krieger School of Arts & Sciences

The Development and Assessment of a Diverse Digital Image Resource on Pre-Health Students’ Sense of Belonging
Mentored by Margaret Chisolm

By solely addressing extrinsic matters such as economic barriers, institutions have failed to ameliorate the underrepresentation of African Americans and women in medicine. Gold-framed portraits of past white male luminaries still cover the walls of medical schools, and with it, racial and gender disparities continue to persist in insidious tones. To tackle this absence of inclusive representation in the dominant visual narratives of medical education, this project proposes the development and evaluation of a digital library that encompasses select images of artworks that particularly highlight black women and men of the medical profession. This innovative resource aims to be an instrument to empower and amplify the representation of African American and female physicians, with the goal of furthering African American and women pre-medical students’ sense of belonging and inclusion in the medical field.

Sara Daniel, Bloomberg School of Public Health

Using an Intersectional Lens to Develop a State-Level Discrimination Index for Sexual Reproductive Health
Mentored by Lorraine Dean

This project aims to identify state-level policies and general areas of racial and gender discrimination with a particular focus on addressing disparities in sexual and reproductive health access and outcomes. The goal is to create a framework for state-level intersectional discrimination, which can be used for future research and policy decisions to promote health equity.

Jessica Dozier, Bloomberg School of Public Health

Understanding COVID-19 Impacts on Disparities in Abortion Care-Seeking in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia (DMV)
Mentored by Suzanne Bell

Racial/ethnic minorities and low-income people often experience the most significant barriers to accessing abortion care due to challenges coordinating travel and logistics, difficulty raising funds, and locating a provider. During the COVID-19 pandemic, some women experienced a decreased ability to pay for abortion care and new healthcare restrictions on non-urgent procedures on top of these existing barriers. This study explores women’s experiences seeking an abortion during COVID-19, specifically whether the pandemic impacted their decision to seek an abortion and their ability to receive one.

Marlena Fisher, JHU School of Nursing

Marlena Fisher

Informal Advance Care Planning with Family in Blacks with ESKD on Dialysis
Mentored by Marie Nolan

This study will gather and explore data on how Black dialysis patients talk with their family and friends about their future healthcare wishes, also known as advance care planning. The focus of this study is on understanding the Black experience of advance care planning because their perspectives have largely been absent. It is important to gather more data about the wishes of Black dialysis patients to co-create tools that match the preferences of this community.

Jason Gray, Krieger School of Arts & Sciences

Rally for Votes-The Voting Rights Act of 1965
Mentored by Tim Perell

Rally for Votes II – Voting Rights is a 360-degree interactive immersive experience that provides a unique perspective on voting rights in the U.S. (and Baltimore) through the lens of two women of color at different stages in life. This experience will utilize emerging technologies in a semi-narrative structure to create a compelling experience. Using these methods, we hope to communicate what voting rights mean to multiple generations of people of color and that in turn will allow others to experience what it means from their perspective.

Sel Hwahng, Bloomberg School of Public Health

A Comparative Study of Dietary Attitudes and Behaviors among Low-Income Women of Color
Mentored by Casey Rebholz

This is a mixed-methods comparative study of dietary attitudes and behaviors among diverse groups of low-income women of color (total n=120), in which four racial/ethnic groups (Black, Latina, Filipina, and South Asian) and two different genders of women (cis-gender and transgender) will be examined. Recruitment of participants will take place in Baltimore, Washington D.C., and New York City. The purpose of this study is to collect data that would inform the development of targeted cardiometabolic interventions for these demographic groups.

Ava Levine, Krieger School of Arts & Sciences

Women’s Experiences With Life After Prison in Baltimore
Mentored by Stuart Schrader

According to the Vera Institute of Justice, the number of women in Maryland’s prisons and jails since 1980 has increased by well over 200% and 400%, respectively. Moreover, the population of Maryland’s prisons and jails is disproportionately Black. This project will examine the specific barriers facing women in Baltimore City as they re-enter society after incarceration.

Alexandra Lossada, Krieger School of Arts & Sciences

The Figure of the Interpreter between Immigration Detention Center and Contemporary Fiction
Mentored by Doug Mao

This project examines modes of resistance by bi- or multilingual ad hoc interpreters, often women and children, who appear within a new genre, the “crimmigration genre”—or works of literature that critique the criminalization of immigration law and where the detention center looms large. The proposal of this genre allows for different ethnic women writers with connections to Mexico, Central America, Haiti, and Japan to converse with each other as they trace intersectional histories of detention in the United States.

Karnika Mehrotra, Krieger School of Arts & Sciences

Quantifying Disparities in Access to Women’s Health Services in Baltimore
Mentored by Katrin Pahl

In this project, we seek to quantify how accessible women’s health services are in certain neighborhoods of Baltimore. Using maps drawn on the basis of racial segregation, we will look at the women’s health services offered in each region, as well as various factors that affect the services’ accessibility. Overall, this will expose the intersection of women’s healthcare inaccessibility and race.

Maya Nitis, Krieger School of Arts & Sciences

Decolonizing Knowledge in Pandemic Times: Baltimore, On Location
Mentored by Katrin Pahl

This project brings a comparative approach to the issue of racism and sexism in the conception of knowledge and the praxes of its reproduction, in local contexts. My research study of anti-discrimination initiatives in local higher education institutions aims to assess such initiatives through interviews with participants and build a network of anti-discrimination resources for higher education. Through a transdisciplinary lens, the study will also yield a comparative assessment of intersectional, performative and critical epistemological frameworks that structure these initiatives.

Anna Pancheshnikov, JHU School of Medicine

Anna Pancheshnikov

Urinary Incontinence Care Seeking Barriers among Latina Patients, What Are We Missing?
Mentored by Grace Chen

Urinary incontinence is extremely common among women, with significant negative effects on their quality of life, yet more than 50% of women do not seek care for this problem. Minority women face even higher barriers to incontinence care seeking yet little is known about these barriers or how to address them. Our project “Urinary Incontinence Care Seeking Barriers among Latina Patients, What Are We Missing?” aims to compare barriers to urinary incontinence care seeking between Latina and non-Latina patients in primary care clinics, and to assess factors which may impact incontinence care seeking such as symptom severity and incontinence knowledge. Understanding barriers to incontinence care seeking among Latina patients will allow us to develop specific interventions to target these barriers and improve access to care.

Jarratt Pytell, School of Medicine

Impact of Patient-Provider Race, Ethnicity, and Gender Concordance on Substance Use Screening
Mentored by Geetanjali Chander

Identifying drug and alcohol use is a necessary first step to addressing it. We want to understand the role of a clinicians gender, race, and ethnicity and its concordance with the patient on screening for drug and alcohol use.

Stephanie Saxton, Krieger School of Arts & Sciences

How Police Made Cities: A Baltimore Police Timeline
Mentored by Lester Spence

Police were publicly financed to maintain order in cities by coercing labor, policing gender deviance, and enforcing racial hierarchies. This project tracks the growth of the Baltimore Police Department from 1854 to today through budgets, which will be made publicly available in a website.

Jennifer Lee, School of Advanced International Studies

Shiselle Povedano, School of Advanced International Studies

Advancing Inclusivity in Disenfranchisement Research: How Discriminatory Voting Policies in the DMV Area Harm Reproductive Health of Minorities
Mentored by Chiedo Nwankwor

Though some women in the United States first gained the right to vote in 1920, this right is constantly under threat, particularly for women of color and members of the LGBTQIPA+ community. At the same time, the government has historically exercised control over the reproductive outcomes of women of color. Through our project, we aim to examine the relationship between political participation and the passage of state-level reproductive policies in Maryland, DC, and Virginia to make recommendations for improving reproductive justice for underrepresented populations.

Kelley Robinson, School of Nursing

Darien Colson-Fearon, School of Medicine

Prenatal Housing Assessment: A Guide for Clinicians
Mentored by Keshia Pollack Porter

This research study will examine housing instability (HI) among pregnant people in the United States. Knowledge is limited regarding the association between people experiencing HI and pregnancy-related health. The racial health inequities that exist within the context of HI during pregnancy are even less understood. Fifteen semi-structured interviews will be conducted and analyzed to develop a provider survey instrument that assesses housing status in assisting birthing people who are currently experiencing housing instability.  Such a questionnaire can help prenatal care providers to facilitate quality care and to ensure that follow-up support is in place for those in need.

Neia Prata Menezes, Bloomberg School of Public Health

Jowanna Malone, Bloomberg School of Public Health

Carrie Lyons, Bloomberg School of Public Health

Kechna Cadet, Bloomberg School of Public Health

Jean Tyan, Bloomberg School of Public Health

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Viral Acute Respiratory Infections in the United States: A Systematic Review
Mentored by Stefan Baral

The covid-19 pandemic has highlighted stark racial disparities in risk of infection and death. Evidence indicates that these disparities are unrelated to biological mechanisms, but are attributable to structural racism and economic marginalization. We sought to synthesize evidence from studies of viral respiratory infections other than covid-19, to contextualize the racial disparities we are observing with covid-19 today and to inform future pandemic preparedness in the hopes of better protecting the most vulnerable communities.




Helena Hall-Thomsen, Whiting School of Engineering

Callie Jones, Whiting School of Engineering

Margaret Wang, Whiting School of Engineering

The Trials, Tribulations, and Triumphs of BIPOC, Women, and LGBTQ+ People in ChemBE
Mentored by Jeff Gray

The JHU department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering owes many of its international prestige and contributions to various fields of scientific research to the many BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other minorities that have made up its extensive history. Using alumni and faculty testimony, past population statistics, and demographical research in Baltimore and beyond, this project will illuminate the efforts of these esteemed individuals, as well as their roles in the ever-changing history of ChemBE. In building a database whereby one can explore the history of diversity within this major, we hope to provide a reflection of the leaps and bounds that the department has made since its establishment, as well as retrospective insight into future trends of the ChemBE population.