Shannon Whittaker

Current research perpetuates a narrow understanding of built and social environments as static hubs where “bad health” only occurs in “bad neighborhoods,” drawing attention away from external forces that shape neighborhood conditions and the well-being of residents. By examining place, race, and health through a historical lens, Shannon hopes to evaluate how structural forms of racism, discrimination, and dispossession have evolved and how these systems of oppression affect neighborhoods of color. Her current research aims to identify the salient pathways in which neighborhood change processes, such as gentrification, produce health disparities. Through the use of transdisciplinary methodology, Shannon’s research will inform the development and implementation of equitable policy solutions that promote the upward mobility of disenfranchised communities.

Shannon is a first-generation Jamaican-American from Brooklyn, New York. Her background provides her with the lived experience to examine the sociopolitical determinants that shape community health. As a member of the HPRS family, she hopes to produce research that centers community empowerment and influences the development of equitable policy to enact neighborhood-level change.


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