Dr. Staggers-Hakim is a social researcher whose area of study focuses on health inequities and the impact of racism on health. Raja Staggers-Hakim received a doctorate in medical sociology and race, class, and gender studies from Howard University in 2009 and a Master's of Public Health in Community Health Education from New York University in 2001. Formerly the Director for the State of Connecticut Commission on Health Equity, Dr. Staggers-Hakim was responsible for designing a statewide model to eliminate health disparities. She contributes to the fields of sociology and public health through participation in the annual meetings of the Eastern Sociological Society, the Association of Black Sociologists, the American Public Health Association, and the Society for Public Health Education.
What Dr. Staggers-Hakim loves most about teaching is the opportunity to help students apply the work of the academy beyond the university in order to understand how education can support service to others. She believes that the classroom is both a hub for student applied engagement and a springboard for social change.
In her leisure time, she enjoys attending live music performances, Zumba, line dancing, and spending time with close friends and family.
Health, Illness, and Society
Unnatural Causes: A Story of Racism and Ethnic Health Inequities in Boston
Social Determinants of Health
Racism, Oppression and Health
Community-Based Research for Health Equity
Dr. Staggers-Hakim's research agenda focuses on health inequities broadly defined. She is specifically interested in the effects of discrimination (race and gender based) on health outcomes. Her previous research has explored race, class, and gender discrimination on obesity prevalence in African American women; police brutality and police killings as a public health issue for African American boys; environmental racism; and limitations of the built environment for inner city minority communities. Her scholarship contributes to a well-established body of literature, which describes the effects of discrimination (and especially racism) on health. Her research focuses on the nexus between Intersectionality Theory (the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, etc.) and Social Epidemiology (social drivers of health epidemics).
Dr. Staggers-Hakim was a 2015 fellow in the Intersectional Qualitative Research in Underrepresented Minorities Institute (IQRMI) sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The full manuscript of her culminating research project, The Nations Unprotected Children of The Ghost of Michael "Mike" Brown and the Impact of National Police Killings on the Social Development and Health of African American Boys, was published in the Journal of Health Behavior and the Social Environment in February 2016.