Professor Arline T. Geronimus on Birthing While Black

Arline T. Geronimus

This fall, ACT is co-sponsoring a lecture series as part of MAS.S63 | Black Mobility and Safety in the US I, a new course taught by Ekene Ijeoma, Director of the Poetic Justice Group at the MIT Media Lab.

On Tuesday, September 15, 2020, beginning at 2pm, Professor Arline T. Geronimus will join the class, and will be responding to the prompt of Birthing While Black.

Arline T. Geronimus is a Professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education and is a Research Professor in the Population Studies Center at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, where she also is the founding director of the Public Health Demography training program. She is affiliated with the Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture and Health. Professor Geronimus originated an analytic framework, “weathering” that posits that the health of Black Americans is subject to early health deterioration as a consequence of social exclusion. The concept of “weathering” has notably been discussed in the context of birthing while Black and is used to consider disparities regarding maternal health and birth outcomes for Black mothers versus women in other racial groups. An elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science, Professor Geronimus received her undergraduate degree in Political Theory from Princeton University, her doctorate in Behavioral Sciences from the Harvard School of Public Health, and did postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School.

In this seminar and studio, Ijeoma will guide students to listen, learn, reflect and respond to issues around mobility (physical, mental, socio-economical, political, etc) and safety for Black Americans through words, images, and sounds that reference social science and anti-racist research. Weekly meetings will be organized around public lectures from guests ranging from designers and urban planners to activists and social scientists, and private individual presentations for the group.

Part of a two-semester course, Black Mobility and Safety in the US is organized into two-week topics around living while Black. The first semester (Fall 2020) will include: birthing, breathing, sleeping, eating, and walking; the second: learning, voting, driving, working, and loving. By the end of each semester, students will have the resources and tools to actively listen and respond critically to issues of Black mobility in the context of their own fields and their purposes.

Register for the lecture.