Texas Southern University

Texas Southern University, School of Public Affairs: Digital Scholarship
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    From Gentrification, Systematic Racism, Policy Entrepreneurs to the Myth of Expertise in Academia and Community Health Improvement

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    Systemic Racism and COVID-19: Vulnerabilities with the U.S. Social Safety Net for Immigrants and People of Color

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    America has a mythologized reputation as an accommodative “melting pot” nation that welcomes individuals from all races and countries seeking improved quality of life and reduced material hardship. However, our U.S. social welfare system is more broadly characterized as underdeveloped, restrictive, and exclusionary, especially toward immigrants and people of color. Public health benefits (e.g., Medicaid), food assistance programs (e.g., SNAP), rental assistance (e.g., HCV/Section 8), and cash assistance (e.g., TANF) are oftentimes restricted for immigrants and racial minorities, making them more vulnerable to material hardship and more exposed to pandemic conditions under COVID-19. Moreover, these welfare restrictions are oftentimes rooted in negative social construction and unflattering stereotypes of Black and Latine people. This paper connects deliberately racialized social welfare barriers, developed under the banner of “welfare reform” in the 1990s, to contemporary difficulties accessing benefits by minority groups, and subsequently heightened vulnerabilities around COVID-19. We suggest areas for improvement in social welfare policy development to better address systemic racism and COVID-19, and deepening inequalities from lack of access to the social safety net for immigrants and racial minorities in the U.

    Gentrification and Nonprofit Activities for Neighborhood Development in Baltimore, Maryland and Houston, Texas

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    This study examines the role of community-based nonprofit organizations in neighborhood revitalization/community development and their impact on the level of housing services. The neighborhoods in the study represent certain universalities of gentrification in older communities, and therefore selected for the study. By going beyond the profitability of gentrification, this study examines the social costs associated with gentrification through the lens of nonprofit organizations using quantitative data from Baltimore, Maryland and Houston, Texas. Taking into account nonprofit organizations as important actors in the gentrification field, this study contributes to the understanding of the social cost of gentrification and how community-based nonprofit organizations can be key to mitigating displacement of neighborhood residents and the erosion of social capital

    Policy Entrepreneurs and the Advocacy for Vaccination During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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    The article draws on Kingdon\u27s Multiple Streams Framework to examine the policy entrepreneurs that emerged, the windows of opportunity they identified, and the strategies they used to advocate for mass vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic. The article indicates that politicians, public figures, and governmental and non-governmental organizations played the role of policy entrepreneurs. The article asserts that the problems of high morbidity, mortality, and economic challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic have social equity implications. Although COVID-19 vaccines are available, there is low political support for vaccination. The article draws attention to the problems, politics, and challenges of asserting COVID-19 vaccination policies. It reports on windows of opportunity policy entrepreneurs identified, and what strategies they used to advocate COVID-19 vaccination, and offers policy implications for addressing social equity concerns and other challenges facing the U.S. economy

    Aligning Tobacco Free Living Agendas in a Community Health Improvement Plan: A Case Study on Democratic Participation and Economic Interests in U.S. Health Policy Development

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    This paper addresses the gap in studies which use democratic policy making frameworks to analyze health policy development in Community Health Improvement Plans (CHIPs). The study describes and analyzes three streams of the tobacco free living policy cycle in a Community Health Improvement Plan implemented in a Mid-Western Region of the United States from 2016 to 2020. The roles of public health interest, economic interests, and democratic participatory rights in Tobacco free health policy making are assessed. The policy making process is assessed within an integrated framework of analysis that weaves pluralist, power elite, critical democratic theories, and participatory governance paradigms into Kingdon’s (2003), streams framework which includes problems, policy, and political streams. The results of the analysis are as follows:1. There was a deficit in democratic participation, and a preeminence of state institutions and economic interest in tobacco free living policy development to the disadvantage of public health interests; 2. Both the policy making process and policy outcomes are anticipated and explained by the governance-driven democratization paradigm and elite dominance theories 3. Democracy driven governance paradigm, democratic theories, and critical theories, illuminate the shortcomings of the policy making process and design. These frameworks also provide a pathway for improving the policy practice components of Community Health Improvement Plans. Specific recommendations are provided for future designs and implementations of policy development components of Community Health Improvement plans

    The Myth of Expertise in Academia: A Collaborative Autoethnography

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    Myths are powerful stories we share that shape our world and worldviews. Myths become so ingrained they often become the big-T truth. In this paper, we explore what we call the myth of expertise that usually guides how one can fit into academic spaces and places. The myth of expertise focuses on a specific, technocratic knowledge focused on certain empirical training with a goal of production. This arises especially when universities are commodified and marketized. Using our own experiences via collaborative autoethnography, we share how the myth reinforces these exclusionary practices while also offering a counternarrative – also based on our experiences – rooted in an ethic of care. The new myth ideally shows how academic places and spaces, and the people in them, can – and do – balance technocratic expertise with empathy and understanding

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    The Gifted Gap and Advance Placement: A Comparison of Placement and Advancement of African American Males Compared to other Ethnicities in Gifted and Advanced School Programs.

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    For decades systemic inequalities in advanced placement courses in education have been a continued driving force to reduce opportunities for African American males compared to other ethnicities. This research provides a statistical analysis of the Gifted Gap in school districts within the United States serving an expanding metropolitan region with limited educational opportunities to grow due to gender, racial, and socioeconomic disproportions. The purpose of this quantitative non-experimental study was to investigate the differences between African American male students compared to other ethnic male students, which may pose a Gifted Gap due to racial and gender factors in gifted and advanced school programs. Two separate archival datasets were obtained through the US Department of Education. To answer the three research questions, a series of independent samples t-tests, ANOVAs, and chi-squared tests was conducted on each of the two datasets

    Race, Racisim, and the Representation of Niger-Congo West African Grammar in African American language :Ebonics in Works by Paul Laurence Dunbar, Mark Twain, and Zora Neal Hurston

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    An analysis of selected works written in African American Language (AAL): Ebonics by Paul Laurence Dunbar, Mark Twain, and Zora Neale Hurston in historical, national American literature are used to document “Race, Racism, and the Representation of Niger-Congo West African Grammar in AAL: Ebonics. This study provides an overview of the Enlightenment period by Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. which proved how world-renowned Euro-American meta-physicists justified slavery and colonization based on unsubstantiated science and religious beliefs. Further, Gates used his research to dispute the outlandish and biased historical documentation provided by some European scholars who claimed that Africans were animals and could not speak languages. During the last 50 years, renown linguist, Dr. Ernie A. Smith has provided research which has proven that slave authors could always speak languages. Evidence has demonstrated that AAs can learn to read and write languages comparable to Caucasians and all other human beings. In this study, Smith has presented a comparative analysis of Niger- Congo grammar with AAL: Ebonics’ grammar which validated that AAL: Ebonics is a continuation of the Niger-Congo grammar structure. Paul Laurence Dunbar, Mark Twain, and Zora Neal Hurston learned to speak fluently in English and “plantation talk”. In fact, when Dunbar and Joel Chandler Harris’s work in Ebonics was looked at diachronically and synchronically, it was proven that both men spoke Ebonics using the same rule-governed language. Mark Twain wrote a novel which proved that language develops through nurture vs. nature. Twain demonstrated how a slave protagonist and the slave owner’s baby learned to speak each other’s home language when the slave protagonist switched her slave son for the plantation owner’s son. In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston built the first all-AA township to demonstrate how AAL: Ebonics was maintained through social isolation for 20 years. In summary, Dunbar, Twain, and Hurston documented AA history through literature. They were able to support the work of great scholars, such as, Gates, Smith and others by writing realistic stories experienced by African Americans by racist groups, such as, Jim Crow and minstrelsy who were the primary culprits of “race and racism.

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