04: Racism, Masculinity, and Health
“Black men want to feel they are respected and human, and people see them in their fullest human potential. And so, when we are interacting with them, we need to do it respectfully, and with an appreciation for their humanity, the very appreciation we would all want for our humanity.”
This episode highlights the trends regarding the social determinants of health of Black boys and men and steps that we can take to decrease disparities and work towards better health outcomes.
Wizdom Powell is Director of the Health Disparities Institute and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at UConn Health. Formerly, Dr. Powell was Associate Professor at Health Behavior at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health and Research Associate Professor in UNC’s Department of Social Medicine. Dr. Powell also served as Associate Director of the Center for Health Equity Research, faculty member at UNC’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Director of the UNC’s Men’s Health Research Lab.
In 2011-2012, she was appointed by President Obama to serve as a White House Fellow to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. In this role she provided subject matter expertise on Military Mental Health (e.g., PTSD, Suicide, and Military Sexual Trauma). Her community-based research focuses on of the role of modern racism and gender norms on African American male health outcomes and healthcare inequities. She has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters including ones in the American Journal of Public Health, Journal of General Internal Medicine, Behavioral Medicine, and Child Development.
In addition to being a White House Fellow, she is an American Psychological Association (APA) Minority, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Kaiser Permanente Burch, Institute of African American Research, and Ford Foundation Fellow who received a Ph.D. and M.S. in Clinical Psychology and M.P.H. from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. She serves as chair of the APA’s workgroup on Health Disparities in Boys and Men and co-chair of the Health Committee for President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative in Durham County.
In recognition of her public service to boys and men, she received the American Psychological Association’s (D51) Distinguished Professional Service Award. In 2015, she received the prestigious Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prize for Outstanding Artistic and Scholarly Achievement by Young Faculty. Dr. Powell was awarded a 2017 academic writing residency at the Bellagio Center from the Rockefeller Foundation. During this highly competitive residency, Dr. Powell will work with other global leaders on strategies for transforming social and healthcare system landscapes to address gendered health Inequities among vulnerable males. Most recently, she was selected as a Health Innovator Fellow by the Aspen Institute.