Recent Submissions

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Race as a Structural Determinant of Mental Health
(Slack Journals, 2024) Burton, Wanda Martin; Mumba, Mercy Ngosa
In the United States, one in five adults (52.9 million) were living with a mental health disorder in 2020 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2023). According to the CDC (2023), mental health encompasses emotional, psychological, and social well-being and affects thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Although higher prevalence rates of mental disorders are not typically reported in racialized minority groups due in part to imperfect racial categorizations and measurements, researchers contend that complex social and structural factors, including inequities in the social determinants of health (SDOH), contribute to Black American individuals’ stress and mental health concerns (Burton et al., 2023; Kim & Bostwick, 2020; Millet et al., 2020). In addition, Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black adults are less likely to receive routine treatment for mental health disorders due to several factors, including lack of access to treatment, mistrust, and stigma (National Alliance on Mental Illness, 2023). Moreover, people with mental health disorders o􀅌en receive mental health care in emergency departments (EDs) when routine care is lacking. National data from 2018 to 2020 show that mental health-related ED visits were highest among Black American individuals for substance use, anxiety, and mood disorders compared to Hispanic and non-Hispanic White ED patients (Peters et al., 2023).
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Gendered Racism: A Call for an Intersectional Approach
(Slack Journals, 2022) Burton, Wanda Martin
Inequities in social determinants of health (SDOH) contribute to health disparities that outweigh an individual’s ability to make healthy choices. SDOH refer to environmental conditions that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality of life outcomes and risks. They are complex, interdependent, and often grouped in five categories: economic stability, education access and quality, health care access and quality, neighborhood and the built environment, and social and community con- text. Within the social and community context, discrimination has increasingly received attention since the American Public Health Association established its National Campaign Against Racism (Jones, 2016a,b). Understanding, revealing, and redressing racism as a social and structural determinant of health may help eliminate racialized health disparities. Yet, for those who are at the inter- section of multiple oppressions, focusing on racism alone may not go far enough.
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Narrating the History of African American Greeks at the University of Alabama: Voices from the Past
(University of Alabama Libraries, 2007) Jones, Stacy L.
The purpose of this study was to examine the initial creation of the African American Greek system at The University of Alabama. The perspectives of those individuals who participated in the development of the African American Greek system provided information that was used to compile an oral history. The sample consisted of 5 African American participants who were each charter members of one of the eight national African American fraternities and sororities that were established at The University of Alabama between 1973 and 1976. This study revealed that the primary reason why African American fraternities and sororities were established at the University of Alabama was to increase the opportunities for African American students to engage in activities related to their social, cultural, spiritual, and academic needs. Although the Afro-American Association served in this capacity prior to their establishment, the students felt limited by their options. These organizations offered African American students the opportunity to engage in the larger University without surrendering their cultural identities. The study also revealed that Beta Lambda Kappa fraternity, a local organization, was the genesis of African American fraternalism at The University of Alabama. Finally, the study revealed that the social climate for African American students was positively impacted by the establishment of African American fraternities and sororities.
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Investigations on the subaerial green algal order Trentepohliales (ulvophyceae; chlorophyta) in the Southeastern USA
(University of Alabama Libraries, 2008) Noble, Sarah Marie
Trentepohliales is an understudied order of subaerial green algae ( Chlorophyta, Ulvophyceae) found throughout the Southeastern USA and in many regions with high humidity and warm temperatures. Monthly collections of a common trentepohlialean taxon, Trentepohlia arborum, were made at three sites within Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, USA and observed for seasonality, variation in morphological features, and reproductive structures. The economically important trentepohlialean taxon, Cephaleuros virescens, has been reported in the literature from almost every tropical and subtropical region. In this study a systematic and phylogenetic assessment was performed on strains of C. virescens samples gathered from the Southeastern USA and overseas. The use of primers specifically designed during this study for the chloroplastencoded large subunit rubisco, or rbcL, for C. virescens were successful in amplifying sequences for phylogenetic analyses. Results of this investigation indicate that several entities are currently grouped under the name "Cephaleuros virescens". These lineages share a similar morphology and habitat and possibly represent a case of morphological convergence and cryptic diversity. Based on topotype material from the Guianas, C. virescens appears to be restricted to tropical Central and South America, with several unnamed species of Cephaleuros occurring in Southeastern USA and overseas. The D 1- D2 region from the nuclear-encoded large subunit ribosomal DNA, or D 1-D2 LSU rDNA, was also assessed with several trentepohlialean taxa and compared with previous reports based on rbcL and the small subunit ribosomal DNA, or SSU rDNA. Results of this investigation suggest that the shorter D1-D2 LSU rDNA contains enough phylogenetic signal, similar to rbcL and SSU rDNA, to reconstruct the phylogeny of representatives in the family Trentepohliaceae; moreover, D 1-D2, because of its shorter length represents a cost-effective alternative; this study also supports the use of D 1-D2 as an excellent option for current efforts of the DNA Barcoding for Life project for green algae.