Black Background

Research

Excellence in Black Health

Black health is a complex topic. The intersectional oppression to which we are subjected in conjunction with our history in American, systemic and institutional racism, and adverse social determinants of health calls for a multidisciplinary approach and a more expansive framework characterizing intersectional aspects of our enduring health inequities and disparities.

 

I am not an expert in all disciplines. However, I research and draw upon an multidisciplinary health communication framework and community-engaged participatory practices in pursuit of a more organized ecological intersectional communication model in Black health.

 

Health communication is so important to this journey. Everything is communication - voice, behavior, what we see, hear, interactions, relationships, messages, information et cetera. All these features are are relevant to health communication in Black health. It health communication that is central to advancing solutions to complex challenges obstructing Blacks ability to live long, healthy at the individuals highest level.  

 

So, on that note, I am a social justice activist/advocate who seeks understanding of how structural racism and discrimination impacts how Black women construct, communicate, and understand the concept of health.

 

This work also involves examining how these society and social institutions reify stereotypes/racism of and in Black women’s health and how they enforce structural inequities and epistemic injustice through practices, policies, and privileged belief systems.

 

Inequities are created when barriers prevent individuals and communities from accessing the conditions to reach their full health potential.

 

Understanding the intersectionality of health inequities, and how these factors collectively function to impact health decision making, chronic disease risk, and health behaviors (i.e., cardiovascular health, reproductive health, nicotine addiction, and mental health) is crucial to the dissemination and implementation of promising or evidence-based interventions.

 

This research is essential because, while the investigation of health disparities and the social determinants is crucial, structural inequities are the source of these observed disparities. Thus, continued efforts in deciphering how to assess and measure their impact on health and their contributions to health inequities are critical.

 

This line of is inquiry encompasses a community-driven participatory approach and intervention development and dissemination founded in multidisciplinary health communication methods, strategies, and techniques. 

 

Black women translate their experiences through projects that assert individual and community agency in communicating meanings of health, and co-constructing health challenges/solutions.

 

They also participate in the development of deep structure interventions that not only considers the intersectionality of identities and facilitates tailored knowledge of chronic disease and illness but also increases structural competency to resist the impact inequities on individual, community, and population health.

©2021 by Dr. Akila-Ka Ma'at. Proudly created with Wix.com