The Physical and Psychological Impacts of Racial Injustice
As noted by many human factors professionals, technology is often created from the perspective of the designer without adequate attention to the mental models of intended users. One aspect of user mental models that that may be overlooked is related to the work systems in which racial and ethnic minorities are embedded. In this talk, I will discuss the case study of consumer health information technology and note that calls to enhance culturally competent care also apply to the virtual world as health IT increasingly becomes a substantive part of the healthcare ecosystem. In particular, I'll discuss approaches for incorporating the needs of racial and ethnic minorities into the design process and how such needs should be accounted for in design choices related to the technology platform, functionality, content, and interface.
Racism is one of the most sinister and poorly recognized forces responsible for stress and ill health in societies today. It causes a cascade of adverse near-term and long-term effects that can profoundly affect well-being, self-image, and health throughout the life-course. The toll of racism on the human body is vast, and so it is helpful to think of racism as a disease, which can be mitigated and eventually defeated by awareness of its many and varied symptoms.
Dr. Rupa Valdez is an associate professor at the University of Virginia with joint appointments in the School of Medicine and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. She is also a core faculty member of Global Studies and the Disability Studies Initiative. Dr. Valdez merges the disciplines of human factors engineering, health informatics, and cultural anthropology to understand and support the ways in which people manage health at home and in the community. Her research and teaching focuses on underserved populations, including populations that are racial/ethnic minorities, are of low socioeconomic status, or are living with physical, sensory, or cognitive disabilities. Her work draws heavily on community engagement and has been supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and the Kellogg Foundation, among others. She serves as Division Chair of Internal Affairs for the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) and as Associate Editor for Journal of American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA) Open. She is the founder and president of Blue Trunk Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to making it easier for people with chronic health conditions, disabilities, and age-related conditions to travel. Dr. Valdez lives with multiple chronic health conditions and disabilities, which have and continue to influence her work and advocacy.
Nina G. Jablonski is Evan Pugh University Professor of Anthropology at The Pennsylvania State University. She is a biological anthropologist by training, and devoted her career to basic research on how primates, including humans, have adapted to their environment. For the last 30 years, she has been most intrigued by questions in human evolution not directly answered by the fossil record, foremost among these being the evolution of human skin and skin pigmentation. She is interested not only in the evolution of skin pigmentation, but also in the many other meanings and ramifications of skin color in modern life, including its implications for health and its connection with concepts of race. In addition to 175 peer-reviewed scholarly articles, Jablonski has written two popular books for adults: Skin: A Natural History (2006) and Living Color: The Biological and Social Meaning of Skin Color (2012), both published by University of California Press. Her first book for children, Skin We Are In, was published in South Africa in 2018 by David Philip Publishers. Jablonski received her A.B. in Biology at Bryn Mawr College in 1975 and her Ph.D. in Anthropology at the University of Washington in 1981. She is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is the recipient of an Alphonse Fletcher, Sr. Fellowship (2005), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2012), and an honorary doctorate from University of Stellenbosch in South Africa (2010) for her contribution to the worldwide fight against racism. Jablonski’s current research and educational projects include a major educational initiative aimed at promoting youth interest in STEM through the study of personal genetic and genealogical ancestry.