skip to Main Content

By: India Stevenson

My interest in health started with my love for the community that surrounds me. I grew up with a large family on both sides and the support that I receive from both my family and community inspires my passion for health and social justice. 

I initially got involved in community service through several social justice organizations here in Georgia. I was particularly interested in volunteering with the various community-based and reproductive justice organizations across Georgia such as SisterLove, Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity (URGE) and Embrace Refugee Birth Support. Although these organizations were local, the work that I did with these organizations applied to the larger global community and taught me a lot about reproductive health inequities both locally and globally. My experiences in community work highlighted the intersecting social justice issues at the root of health disparities, and how the experiences of communities with health can differ across socioeconomic status, race, gender identity, and sexuality. 

My experiences and intersecting identities are also a huge part of my interest in community and health. As a Black and South Asian woman, I am passionate about the different experiences with health that the members of my communities face. I also became interested in learning more about the various health alternatives that communities have cultivated together in response to feeling disregarded in mainstream healthcare settings, such as community-based doulas and midwives.

It was not until I reached university that I began to see a way to bridge my interest in social justice and community with my interest in health. In my sophomore year, I took a class on community-based participatory research and learned about this method of research that focuses on the lived experiences of specific communities with health. This was important to me because it opened my eyes to a type of research that placed a lot of value on the input of community members, and that works towards sustainable and community-centric solutions to these health issues.

I am currently a Human Health major on the Epidemiology track. My goal in the future is to continue my work in the field of public health and community-based work. Through Exploring Health, I hope to continue exploring different health disparities and to spread awareness of these issues to the community.