Dr. Martin Luther King, Black History Month Experts

UC Riverside scholars offer expertise on the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement leader, Black Lives Matter, and disparities in health care

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 1964 . Photo by Marion S. Trikosko, courtesy Library of Congress

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 1964. Photo by Marion S. Trikosko, courtesy Library of Congress

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — What might the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. think of the Black Lives Matter movement, the incarceration of disproportionate numbers of people of color, and the general state of African American integration into U.S. society?

As the nation remembers the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King on Monday and prepares to observe Black History Month in February, members of the UC Riverside faculty are available to comment on a variety of issues.

Among those are the legacy of the charismatic leader of the Civil Rights Movement, structural disparities that remain in American society, inequities in education and health care, and the role of religion and spirituality in addressing mental health issues, including recovery from substance abuse issues.

These faculty members are available for interviews:

 

 

Dylan Rodriguez

Dylan Rodriguez

Dylan Rodriguez, professor of ethnic studies
(951) 827-4707
dylan.rodriguez@ucr.edu
http://ethnicstudies.ucr.edu/people/faculty/rodriguez/index.html

Dr. King was a prophetic black freedom fighter who foresaw the oncoming wave of targeted (NOT “mass”) policing, criminalization, and incarceration of poor black and brown people in the U.S., Rodriguez says. He understood how this was linked to both the inherent material violence of capitalism and its partnership with U.S. militarism and warfare.

 

 

Yolanda Moses

Yolanda Moses

Yolanda T. Moses, professor of anthropology
(951) 827-6223
yolanda.moses@ucr.edu
http://www.anthropology.ucr.edu/people/faculty/moses/

What would Dr. King think about the Black Lives Matter movement? Decades after King’s famous “I have a dream” speech, what has been accomplished in terms of the integration of African Americans into mainstream American society? There is some progress, but so much more needs to be done to end structural disparities. It is time to stop blaming the victims (black people for protesting) , and look at the structural inequalities that this nation and its institutions  have not addressed.

 

Carolyn Murray

Carolyn Murray

Carolyn Murray, professor of psychology
(951) 827-5293
carolyn.murray@ucr.edu
http://www.psych.ucr.edu/faculty/murray/index.html

Murray has done ground-breaking research on the stresses on African-American families and the unequal education of minority children. Her research has focused primarily on the detrimental effects of educational inequities experienced by African-Americans — low self-esteem, low expectations by teachers and barriers to achievement — and the manner in which these are reflected in academic achievement. She also has examined the dynamics of parental socialization in African-American families, paying particular attention to the development of personality. The American Psychological Association recognized a study in which Murray found that the absence of a father from the home tended to have a much more negative effect on the self-esteem of adolescent boys than on girls.

Emma Simmons

Emma Simmons

 

Emma Simmons, associate dean of student affairs, School of Medicine
(951) 827-7663
emma.simmons@ucr.edu
http://medschool.ucr.edu/about/staff/esimmons.html

African Americans have not traditionally shared equally in all of the advances that the medical care system in the U.S. has to offer, Simmons says.  Current efforts to increase the supply of African American physicians remain an important but ongoing challenge. She is a family physician with an interest in improving health equity.  She is available to talk about African American physicians/pioneers who have made a major impact on our medical care. Her area of research has been in the offering and acceptance of HIV screening among underserved populations.

Ann Cheney

Ann Cheney

 

Ann Cheney, assistant professor, Social Medicine & Population Health, Center for Healthy Communities, School of Medicine
(951) 827-2917
ann.cheney@ucr.edu
http://medschool.ucr.edu/faculty_research/clinical_profiles/chc_faculty.html?page=ann_cheney.html

Dr. Cheney has conducted research on the mental health and substance use needs of African Americans in Arkansas’ Mississippi Delta Region, one of the most impoverished areas of the United States.  She has studied and written about the role of religion and spirituality in African American’s understanding of mental health and substance use and recovery. She has also focused attention on how structural inequalities shape the emotional health of African Americans living in rural areas of the Delta.

 

Media Contact


Tel: (951) 827-7847
E-mail: bettye.miller@ucr.edu
Twitter: bettyemiller

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