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Dawna M. Thomas, PhD, is an Associate Professor in Africana Studies and Chair of Women's and Gender Studies Departments at Simmons College. She teaches a cross section of courses that relate to women, gender, race, culture, family violence, and health and disability. She received a Ph.D. from the Law, Policy and Society Program at Northeastern University where her doctoral dissertation examined the intersection of disability and race through the lens of the Cape Verdean community in New England. Dr. Thomas' research interests include the intersection of disability, gender, race, ethnicity, and class. She has an expertise in the field of healthcare policy, disability policy, community-based research, and grassroots coalition building. Her latest study The Cape Verdean Women's Project includes four generations of women from 18-80 years of age where she explores their experiences with family life, marriage, domestic violence, healthcare and disability, and concepts of the womanhood. She has authored several publications in reference to: cultural competency in healthcare, education, disability policy, and psychology.