Diversity and Community Engagement
The University of Mississippi

2021 Achieving Equity Grant Recipients

Stressors with Links to Health and Academic Outcomes 

In Fall 2021, the Substance Use and Mental Health Research Lab collected data on the experiences of Black/African-American undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in STEM programs. Using a daily diary design, we explored the links between daily exposure to minority stress and health, social, and academic outcomes among students who have been historically underrepresented in the STEM disciplines.

  • Hannah Allen, Assistant Professor of Public Health
  • Frank Fernandez, Assistant Professor of Higher Education
  • Kenya Bledsoe, Assistant Professor of Leadership and Counselor Education
  • Marquita Smith, Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs and Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and New Media

Crossing Borders and Boundaries: Migration in the Mid-South

“Crossing Borders and Boundaries: Migration in the Mid-South” is an initiative that included an oral history research project and an art installation to raise awareness about national immigration issues and the experiences of migrants living in Memphis, Tennessee.  Hostile Terrain 94 (HT94) is an international participatory exhibit that uses ethnography, archaeology, and forensics to document both the lives of individuals and the effects of US policy on migratory patterns and experiences. The Summer Avenue Documentary Project documents how immigrants are incorporated into the sociopolitical and economic lives of communities that were not traditional migration destinations. The oral history interviews focused primarily on foreign-born business owners on Summer Avenue, a commercial district in Memphis, to collect details about their migratory process, settlement, and the establishment of their businesses.

  • Simone Delerme, Associate Professor of Anthropology and McMullan Associate Professor of Southern Studies
  • Carolyn Friewald, Associate Professor of Anthropology 

Identification and Exploration of Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Accessing School Meals in Mississippi School Districts During COVID-19

This project will use a mixed-methods research approach to understand resilience-building strategies used to explore equitable meal provision in MS, LA, and WV. The resilience capacity model is the framework used. Based on the deductive analysis of focus group discussions with child nutrition directors, two survey tools were created. Surveys will be distributed to child nutrition directors and parents/caregivers to explore disparities faced in accessing school meals during the pandemic.

  • Georgianna Mann, Assistant Professor of Nutrition and Hospitality Management
  • Laurel Lambert, Associate Professor of Nutrition and Hospitality Management
  • Kritika Gupta, Ph.D. Student, Nutrition and Hospitality Management

Religiosity, Internalized Homophobia and Endorsement of Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder Criteria

This project will investigate how the World Health Organization’s new compulsive sexual behaviour disorder diagnosis might impact sexual minority individuals. More specifically, they are surveying a nationally representative sample of U.S. lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults to see if internalized sexual stigma might predict endorsement of the new diagnostic criteria. Of concern is whether this diagnosis might disproportionally pathologize sexual minority persons’ sexual behaviors.

  • Brian Droubay, Assistant Professor of Social Work 
  • Drew Lefman, Coordinator Advising Recruitment and Retention and Director of Affiliation and Service Agreements, School of Applied Sciences

BIPOC Visiting Artist/Lecturer Program

The Department of Theatre & Film will invite an early-career BIPOC director to direct a production in the spring of 2023 as well as teach a directing class for undergraduates. This will allow for a young director to gain valuable experience as well as provide students the opportunity to work and network with an individual that will expand our department’s diversity.

  • Peter Wood, Instructional Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts
  • Michael Barnett, Chair and Professor of Theatre and Film

Promoting Equity in School Readiness: Integrating Accessible Parent Education to Leverage Inequities in a Whole Child Wellness Curriculum

Young children bring with them funds of knowledge from their homes that can be used for concept and skill development. This program sends home videos starring family members engaging in daily routines that embed the skills they self-identified as family strengths. Each video also includes a book read by a community member and a children’s yoga lesson. We aim to nourish the well-being of each child while recognizing the vast funds of knowledge that exist throughout the Mississippi Delta.

  • Alicia Stapp, Interim Assistant Chair of Teacher Education and Associate Professor of Health and Physical Education 
  • Kenya Wolff, Assistant Professor in Early Childhood Education
  • Stephanie Miller, Associate Professor of Psychology and director of the Department of Psychology’s Experimental Graduate Program 
  • Laurel Lambert, Associate Professor of Nutrition and Hospitality Management
  • Georgianna Mann, Assistant Professor of Nutrition and Hospitality Management
  • Tess Johnson, Program Manager, School of Education’s Department of Teacher Education