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responsibility, but it moves it into another domain. The disparity is still there, but Tyan brings passion and expertise that can bring this challenge more to the forefront.” Parker Dominguez since has worked to find solutions, particularly through churches. African-Americans have long been wary of the medical community, she said, jaded in part by the U.S. government’s Tuskegee syphilis experiment, in which doctors refused to treat infected patients during a clinical study that lasted from 1932 to 1972. Churches, meanwhile, are considered a trusted and vital part of the African-American community. Parker Dominguez used a $25,000 grant from the March of Dimes to work with the Pasadena, Calif., Church of God to highlight birth disparities. She did that by promoting a health fair and helping to develop an eight-week support group in which women were encouraged to talk about stressful experiences, coping skills, and ways to foster their own emotional, physical and spiritual health. She now is consulting with the City of Austin Health and Human Services Department to develop and evaluate a community health worker intervention program, in which trained workers can work with pregnant and nonpregnant African-American women alike. The goal is to educate and connect them to resources to promote healthy pregnancies. Roberts, for her part, has joined Undoing Racism Austin, an attempt to stamp out discrimination by raising awareness. “I’m extremely optimistic,” she said. “You want to teach your child at a young age that racism exists, but that they can overcome it and go far in life.”

[At Rice] I discovered that I was intrigued by the nature of social relationships, social power and social institutions. I could dedicate my life to Tyan Parker Dominguez and Eva Roberts work with African-American women in Austin to promote healthy pregnancies and births.


Ric e M aga z i n e | wi n t e r 2 0 1 5

helping to make the world a better place.

Rice Magazine | Winter 2015  

The magazine of Rice University. LIGHT COMPOSED James Turrell’s sublime Skyspace is also a unique experimental sound lab for students and a...

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