School of Interdisciplinary Studies African American Studies and Research CenterCollege of Liberal Arts

 Five Focus Areas 

At the center of our work are five key areas which emphasize

Living Data and Black Digital Ethics.


Black Health Information      

Black Health Information focuses on the data and discourse which circulates on and around the subject of Black Health. These conversations around the intersection of Health and the Black community include but are not limited to immunity and the immune system, comorbidities, the spread of viruses and disease, as well as information on risk factors. Information, as well as mis/disinformation, spreads through networks of influence, whether that be from news sources, social media, and community members. Black health information also includes the exchange of grassroots knowledge and how Black communities discuss the importance of health within individuals and the collective.

Institutional Healthcare

Institutional Health Care focuses on the collection of health data and interactions with medical institutions and officials in order to examine the intersections of race, public health, and policy. Specifically, this area of focus is concerned with how data is collected, or not collected, by institutions of health as well as how Black people are treated, or not treated, within medical systems. Institutional Health Care also explores the “outsider-within” experiences of Black people who work with and within medical institutions, such as doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals and administrators.




Black Lived Experience

Black Lived Experience focuses on local and community based living data.These lived experiences are up to date and in the moment collections of what it is like to live and breathe in a society rife with health disparity and social inequity. Living data focuses on topics which are relevant to the day to day experiences of Black diasporic people, such as food desserts and gentrification, as well inequalities in income, housing, employment, and access to education and technology.



Black Sociopolitical Communities

Black Sociopolitical Communities focuses on the politics of Black communities by asking “Who do we define as members of the Black community?” and “How does in-group and out-group discourse determine Black identity?”.The Black community is diasporic and continental, intersectional and heterogeneous, with a mixture of community identifications and counterpublics within it. Embedded in Black sociopolitical communities are intra-group differences which include, but are not limited to, stratifications in socioeconomic status, age and generational differences, dis/abilities, regional and cultural specificities, religion and spiritual practices, intersectional marginalization, and LGBTQIA+ identities.

Community Focused Research

Community Focused Research focuses on innovation in multiple academic fields and disciplines in order to better serve Black communities. This focus on community is a return to the roots of Black Studies which re-establishes the relationship between theory and praxis to empower the voices and experiences of Black people over the prominence of institutional knowledge.




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