- Research Program Mentor
PhD candidate at Columbia University
Clinical psychology, Sexuality, Racial and Gender Discrimination, Mental Health, Social Justice Issues, Maternal Psychology,
BioHi everyone!!! My name is Jada. I was born in Northampton, MA, but my family moved to the city of Philadelphia when I was a baby and have been raised in the city ever since. I returned to Northampton to complete my undergraduate degree at Smith College. I obtained my BA in Psychology and Africana Studies. As a student of an all women’s college, I was immersed within the feminist perspective of understanding the importance of gender’s nuance in society. Throughout the years, I developed a particular interest in understanding the psychological impact of race and gender on the well-being of individuals concerning suicide behavior, specifically within the African American community. At Columbia University, I am investigating suicide initiation and behavior within the African American community through a clinical research perspective, specifically focusing on the relationship between cultural aspects/history, methodology, and prevention tactics. In my personal life, I am a huge foodie. I love trying new restaurants and food throughout the city, especially brunch. I additionally love to travel, listening to music, and exploring different museums. I used to love going to the movies. I enjoy the experience of sitting in the movie theater while eating expensive popcorn, so I am sad movie theaters not doing well during the pandemic. Another fact is that I am slightly obsessed with Beyoncé. I love her music, visual albums, concerts, and pretty much everything about her. I am very excited and grateful to be a part of Polygence mentorship. I wish this program was available when I was in high school. It is a great opportunity to work together to expand and progress the research field. I am very excited to meet and work with my mentees on some amazing research projects!
Suicide in the African American community
Historically, suicidality among African Americans has represented one of the lowest suicide rates of any ethnic group in the United States, ranking as the 16th leading cause of death among African Americans (Walker, 2007). In the past decade, however, suicidal behavior has increased significantly such that suicide deaths among Black youths have nearly doubled from a rate of 2.55 per 100,000 in 2007 to 4.82 per 100,000 in 2017 (The Congressional Black Caucus, 2019). The proposed project draws attention to suicide deaths among African Americans, focusing on racially insensitive, anti-Black suicide assessments, misdiagnosis, and misclassification of suicide deaths. This phenomenon warrants attention to enhance our knowledge of suicidality within the African American community, with the intent to improve prevention interventions to be unique to Black suicidal individuals.