Dr. Phifer-Rixey and Cameron Gaines help organize event: Genetics, Genomics, and Racism

On April 8th, we held a virtual event to discuss the complicated relationship between genetics, genomics, and racism. We considered both the legacy of past genetic technologies and the future impacts of new genomic initiatives. Our distinguished speakers, Krystal Tsosie and Gabriela Corona Valencia discussed their research and Dr. Kiameesha Evans, MPH, MCHES,  from the Department of Health and Physical Education moderated the conversation.

Krystal Tsosie, MPH, MA, PhD Candidate, Vanderbilt University (she/her/hers), is already a leader in her field. Her voice has been critical in shaping policy on genomics initiatives in indigenous communities, particularly with respect to the ethics of consent and data sovereignty. Her research integrates both efforts to improve health outcomes for indigenous communities through genomics and efforts to address the ethics of obtaining and using genomic data.  

Gabriela Corona Valencia, MA, PhD Candidate, UCLA  (she/her/hers) is currently a doctoral candidate at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA. Her dissertation research highlights the ways in which eugenicist ideologies continue to influence sex education curricula and initiatives that are implemented across South and East Los Angeles.

This event was organized by Dr. Megan Phifer-Rixey, Biology, and Dr. Jen McGovern, Political Science and Sociology, with support from student coordinator Cameron Gaines and the students of BY216-H1 Introduction to Genetics and SO101-H1 Introduction to Sociology. This program was made possible in part by the Diversity Innovation Grant program, which is supported by the Office of the Provost and the Intercultural Center and support from the School of Science and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.