“Being a researcher who is a person of color has its challenges, but remember Dr. Sharps said we need you!” laughs Dr. Sharps.
For the last year and more all eyes have been on COVID, and for an intense moment in time that has had lasting impact, on anti-black racism. For some that means a new awareness of structural racism; for others it has meant a new awareness of research on health equity.
“We are going into our PhD with a completely different perspective,” says Carissa Lawrence, WHNP-BC, CNM. She is a Black, Jamaican and American PhD student who began the program at Johns Hopkins in 2020.
Students like Carissa are carrying the torch forward for researchers of color who have dedicated their lives to health equity and social justice.
And yet students like Carissa are carrying the torch forward for researchers of color who have dedicated their lives to health equity and social justice. For example, Phyllis Sharps, PhD, RN, FAAN, who retired from Johns Hopkins as the Elsie M. Lawler Chair and Associate Dean for Community Programs and Initiatives in June 2021. Dr. Sharps is a Black American woman who has had a storied, decades-long career as a nurse and researcher, serving communities with an emphasis on maternal and child health; she was actually there for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech.
Carissa and Dr. Sharps connected for a video chat conversation just before Dr. Sharps retired.
“The demographics of our nation are changing,” says Dr. Sharps. What’s more, you can’t educate a group of people and then expect them to stay in their place. “That train has left the station and it’s not coming back.”
Get inspired for the fall semester by listening to their words of wisdom:
- 15 minutes: Dr. Phyllis Sharps on how discrimination works in many ways and why diverse perspectives in research matter
- 21 minutes: Dr. Phyllis Sharps on how starting from a strengths based perspective helps you see things differently
- 26 minutes: Dr. Sharps and Carissa on navigating the “angry black woman” stereotype in workplace politics
- 34 minutes: Dr. Sharps on our changing national demographic
- Mentoring the Next Generation of Black Nurse Researchers
- We Are Hopkins Nursing
- Providing Clarity on Health Care
- Professor and Community Activist Pauses to Reflect
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: SYDNEE LOGAN
Sydnee Logan, MA is the Sr. Social Media and Digital Content Specialist for Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. She shares Hopkins Nurses with the world.