Panelists discuss racial justice at CHSS Annual Showcase
The College of Health & Social Sciences held its 2021 Annual Showcase in a virtual format on April 22. This year’s theme was Embodying Racial Justice. The event included a lively, passionate discussion of racial justice and a slideshow featuring poster abstracts.
Dean Alvin Alvarez began the program with welcoming remarks and spoke about the College’s RACE Initiative. This was followed by the panel discussion, moderated by Sherria Taylor, assistant professor of Child & Family Studies in the Family, Interiors, Nutrition & Apparel Department. Panelists were Maiya Evans, a lecturer in Holistic Health and Public Health; Supriya Misra, assistant professor of Public Health and Brandon Venerable, a member of the CHSS Race Collective.
Assistant Professor, Child & Family Studies
Sherria D. Taylor (she/her) is an assistant professor of Child & Family Studies in the Family, Interiors, Nutrition & Apparel Department at SF State. She earned her doctoral degree in 2013 from Loma Linda University in Family Studies with a concentration in Systems-Organizational Consultation. Her dissertation was titled, "A Family Resilience Model of Behavioral Health for Low-Income, Ethnic Minority Families." Taylor attained her M.A. in Counseling and Educational Psychology with an emphases in Marriage and Family Counseling and Community Counseling from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2003. Her research interests include family, community and cultural resilience, mental health, substance abuse prevention, the buffering effects of spirituality among ethnic minority families, and academic resilience among underrepresented college students. She has been involved in research funded by HUD and the Family Process Institute related to family resilience and family support services among low-income families.
As the former executive director of the nonprofit agency Access for Community & Cultural Education Programs & Trainings, Taylor was successful in securing over one million dollars in grant funding. She has produced peer-reviewed publications and reports related to low-income families, mental health, substance abuse, resilience and social justice pedagogy. Her work has been shared at various annual conferences focused on strengthening families and diversity and inclusion in higher education, including the National Council on Family Relations and the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity.
Taylor is one of the founding members of the CHSS RACE Collective at SF State, which was formed with the goal of overseeing and engaging the entire CHSS community in activities, trainings, and working groups that are designed to advance racial justice. The CHSS Reflections and Actions to Create Equity (RACE) Initiative is a college-wide, permanent commitment to dismantling racism systemically in the college and to advancing and embedding racial justice in its teaching, research, and service, as well as its policies, procedures, and operations.
Lecturer, Holistic Health & Public Health
Maiya Evans (she/her) teaches courses in Holistic Health Studies and Public Health at SF State, where she earned her Master of Public Health in Community Health Education in 2015. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Film/Cinema/Video Studies and Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Much of her work examines the intersection between holistic health, public health and social justice.
Evans has worked as a health educator at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, is a consultant for the anti-racism organization, The Mosaic Project, and was awarded the 2020-2021 EPIC Community College Fellowship at Stanford University for her work on globalizing the public health curriculum. She is the founder of Hey Girl Health, a health, wellness and culture brand that puts women of color at the center of the health conversation, and host of the health and wellness podcast, the Hey Girl Health Show. She is currently working on a project entitled, “Celebrating Diversity and Culture in the Virtual Space,” which demonstrates the benefits of creating an inclusive and diverse classroom space in the virtual realm.
Assistant Professor, Public Health
Supriya Misra’s (she/her) research focuses on mental health inequities among socially marginalized communities, particularly racial and ethnic minority groups. She uses mixed methods to understand the roles of discrimination, stigma, and trauma on the onset and experience of mental distress and to promote dignity and justice for those living with mental illness. She completed her B.A. and M.A. in Psychology at Stanford University, her Sc.D. in Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowship at New York University. She also worked for several years in nonprofit management to develop and implement evidence-based health education resources.
CHSS RACE Collective
Brandon Venerable (he/his) is a Black Queer born and raised in Sacramento. His passion for public health/administration and social justice stems from his own experiences navigating public and health care services as a young person, and he strongly believes in the importance of equipping underserved populations with the tools to not only survive but thrive. He is one of the founding members of the CHSS RACE Collective at SF State, which was formed with the goal of overseeing and engaging the entire CHSS community in activities, trainings and working groups that are designed to advance racial justice.
Venerable holds a B.S. in Nutrition and Food Sciences from Sacramento State University and a Master’s in Public Administration from SF State. His academic and professional interests center on organizational development, specifically, centering equity in the design of organizational structures, processes and values. He currently serves as a senior global programs manager for a global health nonprofit, where he focuses on program management, organizational development and strategy. In his free time he enjoys reading, attending local drag shows, cooking new vegetarian and vegan recipes, and watching movies and documentaries.