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Principal Investigator: Payne-Sturges, Devon C
Institute Receiving Award Univ Of Maryland, College Park
Location College Park, MD
Grant Number R01ES034303
Funding Organization National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Award Funding Period 01 Sep 2022 to 30 Jun 2027
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Structural racism (SR) has been defined as the macro level systems, social forces, institutions, ideologies, and processes that interact with one another to generate and reinforce inequities among racial/ethnic groups. The mechanisms of SR are “unseen” and thus understudied and typically not incorporated into public health interventions. For example, 2.5 million hired farmworkers in the U.S., who overwhelmingly are Black and/or Latinx, live in economically segregated communities with substandard and crowded housing conditions, unsafe or limited water that render COVID-19 preventive measures such hand hygiene and social distancing challenging, if not impossible. Additionally, migrant and seasonal farmworkers (MSFWs) are among the lowest paid, lack access to health information, preventive care and medical treatment. These patterns of vulnerability reflect historical exclusion, motivated by anti-Black racism, of farmworkers from federally protected right to organize and other labor protections, labor practices traced to the Jim Crow era, and an immigration and labor policy environment in which MSFWs avoid reporting illness or seeking care for fear of retaliation from employers. COVID-19 has only exacerbated these vulnerabilities; outbreaks of COVID-19 have been reported among farmworkers and agricultural counties in the U.S. have seen disproportionately high rates of COVID-19. Structures of marginalization of MSFWs are not widely considered through the lens of SR. To better protect the health of Black and/or Latinx MSFWs and design an equitable response to the inevitable next pandemic, research is needed to understand and dismantle the structural and institutional drivers of health inequities. Our proposed work aims address this critical need through an innovative community-driven, multilevel and multidisciplinary approach study to: examine the relationships between migrant labor housing policy regimes, indoor air quality, exposure to viruses (e.g., SARS-CoV-2) and respiratory health of MSFWs over time (Aim1); characterize structural pathways through which COVID-19 policy and regulatory responses interact and influence racialized health outcomes among MSFWs through a community-based system dynamics group modeling approach (Aim2); and evaluate the influence of agricultural migrant employment, public health and housing law and policy on COVID-19 epidemics across selected agricultural states using a quasi-experimental study design (Aim 3). These aims address two NIH research priorities:1) understand the impact of SR on minority health and health disparities and 2) inform health care and social policies at all levels on mitigating SR’s impacts on the health of vulnerable populations. Results from our proposed study will inform the design of policies and best practices to counter long-standing mechanisms of SR impacting MSFWs, optimize living and working conditions for better health protections and to control future outbreaks of infectious disease among these invisible and vulnerable workers.
Science Code(s)/Area of Science(s) Primary: 59 - Social Environment/Built Environment
Secondary: 03 - Carcinogenesis/Cell Transformation
Publications No publications associated with this grant
Program Officer Liam O'Fallon
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