Assistant Professor of Africana Studies
Jerel Ezell is a mixed-methods researcher and Fulbright Scholar focused on health disparities and social inequality in post-industrial communities, and serves as the Director of the Center for Cultural Humility and ReLateral Lab. His research and pedagogy attempts to take an earnest and nuanced view of the staggering constellation(s) of forces that come to influence and texture health and social outcomes, exploring the knotty tapestry of political, economic and cultural factors which contribute to inequities. Jerel's work investigates how impacts from steady patterns of deindustrialization have been felt especially hard in Black and lower-income populations, where community disinvestment, environmental degradation, crime, and diminished public health--acting as virtual "aftershocks"--has often followed the exit of prominent industries, particularly those in the automobile, steel production and agriculture sectors.
Concentrating primarily on the Rust Belt and Bible Belt, his community-based research interrogates the various organizational, social and situational dynamics contributing to the dramatic, ongoing shift in our economic landscapes and labor markets and the resultant impacts on health and social equity and environmental sustainability in America.
Jerel's current research projects focus on macrosocial factors contributing to the Flint Water Crisis and patterns of opioid use in the industrial Midwest and the northeastern United States. As part of this scholarship, Jerel situates deindustrialization as a force presaging prominent American neo-liberal theory to identify and characterize the radical sociopolitical mutations leading to and following post-industrialism in the U.S.
Jerel earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology (PhD) from the University of Chicago, a Master’s of Public Health (MPH) from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s of Arts (BA) in anthropology from the University of Michigan.
- Ezell JM. The medicalization of freedom: how anti-science movements use the language of personal liberty and how we can address it. Nature. 2022 Feb.
- Ezell JM, et al. Child lead screening behaviors and health outcomes following the Flint Water Crisis: A cross-sectional analysis.Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. 2022 Jan.
- Ezell JM. Environmental health capital: A paradigm for environmental injustice prevention and truth and reconciliation. Local Environment. 2021 Dec.
- Ezell JM. “Trickle-Down” Racial Empathy in American Higher Education: Moving Beyond Performative Wokeness and Academic Panels to Spark Racial Equity. Journal of Education. 2021 Dec. DOI: 10.1177/00220574211053586.
- Ezell JM, et al. Approaches to Addressing Nonmedical Services and Care Coordination Needs for Older Adults. Research on Aging. 2021 Jul.
- Ezell JM et al. The Blueprint of Disaster: COVID-19, The Flint Water Crisis, and Unequal Ecological Impacts.The Lancet Planetary Health. 2021 May.
- Ezell JM, et al. How Urban and Rural Built Environments Influence the Health Attitudes and Behaviors of People Who Use Drugs. Health & Place. 2021 May.
- Ezell JM, et al. A population-based assessment of physical symptoms and mental health outcomes among adults following the Flint Water Crisis. Journal of Urban Health. 2021 Mar.
- Ezell JM, Salari S, et al. Intersectional Trauma: COVID-19, the Psychosocial Contract, and America’s Racialized Public Health Lineage. Traumatology. 2021 Jan.
- Ezell JM. Empathy plasticity: decolonizing and reorganizing online spaces to address racial equity. Ethnic and Racial Studies. 2021 Jan 5. 1-13.
- Ezell JM, Walters SM, et al. Stigmatize the use, not the user? Attitudes on opioid use, drug injection, treatment, and overdose prevention in rural communities. Social Science & Medicine. 2020 Nov 113470.
- Ezell JM, Schneider J, et al. Are skin color and body mass index associated with social network structure? Findings from a male sex market study. Ethnicity and Health. 2019 Mar 14:1-16.
- Ezell JM, Schneider J, et al. The sexual and social networks of Black transgender individuals: Results from a representative sample. Transgender Health. 2018 Dec 18;3(1):201-9.
- Ezell JM, Richardson M, et al. Implementing trauma-informed practice in juvenile justice systems: What can courts learn from child welfare interventions? Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma. 2018 Jul 28:1-13.
- Ezell JM, Choi CJ., et al. Measuring recurring stigma in the lives of individuals with mental illness. Community Mental Health Journal. 2017 Aug 17.
- Ezell JM, Peters RM, et al. Association between one-hour oral glucose tolerance test values and delivery mode in non-diabetic, pregnant Black women. Journal of Pregnancy. 2015 May; (Vol 2015).
- Ezell JM, Ownby DR, et al. Using a physician panel to estimate food allergy prevalence in a racially diverse longitudinal birth cohort. Annals of Epidemiology. 2014 Jul;24(7):551-53.
- Ezell JM, Siantz E, et al. Contours of usual care: Meeting the medical needs of diverse persons with serious mental illness. Journal of Health Care For The Poor And Underserved. 2013 Nov;24(4):1552-73.
- Ezell JM, Saltzgaber J, et al. Reconnecting with urban youth enrolled in a randomized controlled trial and overdue for a 12-month follow-up survey. Clinical Trials. 2013 Oct;10(5):775-82.
In the news
- Cornell Atkinson awards $1.4 million to new sustainability projects
- Center for Social Sciences awards 2022-23 Faculty Fellowships
- Center offers tools for culturally responsive research, practice
- E.P.A’s new air, water protections for poor sends mixed signals, says prof.
- Water crisis increased Flint children’s lead exposure
- Infrastructure bill comes amid all-time high distrust of water
- Water crisis took toll on Flint adults’ physical, mental health
- Faculty examine racism ‘embedded’ in US health care
- Health inequities the focus of ‘Racism in America’ webinar on March 29
- New research grants support Ithaca-area communities
- Center’s grants seed diverse research in the social sciences