My program of research uses intersectionality to examine how interlocking systems of power (e.g., racism, sexism, gendered racism) affect marginalized communities, particularly Black girls and women. Specifically, I focus on the function of ideologies (e.g., stereotypes) in maintaining and sustaining violence against Black girls and women. In addition, I examine how Black women resist these stereotypes and exercise their own power. I also explore how navigating experiences stigma and discrimination in various social contexts affect women of color’s health outcomes. My current work focuses on liberation from systems of oppression, and centers practices of power and healing. Finally, my work explores how to use intersectionality to advance socially-just and equitable research ethics.

I use a multi-methods approach to address these research questions, including experimental studies, surveys, semi-structured interviews, focus groups, and community-based participatory research. Collectively, my research has implications for designing and implementing interventions that are tailored and sensitive to the social context of marginalized groups, and has the potential to reduce and ultimately help eliminate mental and sexual health disparities.