Denise Herd is engaged in several active research projects. The first is on the role of policing in public health. As a part of this research focus, her team is conducting a systematic literature review to understand how public health literature frames the impact of policing and police violence on health inequities among racial and ethnic minorities in the US. This project focuses on literature that situates policing relative to the Social Determinants of Health and structural racism. A related project is exploring the relationship between victims of police violence and chronic diseases, especially diabetes, in racial and ethnic minority communities. The project is addressing research related to a broader concern with the criminalization of health problems among BIPOC communities. Another project is exploring community mobilization and the politics of disease prevention efforts regarding COVID-19 in communities of color. The goal of the project is to understand why and how leaders in these communities have addressed medical mistrust and greatly increased vaccination enthusiasm in African American and Latinx communities. Herd’s research is also analyzing the politics of COVID and gun violence prevention in the context of the Trump presidency and the rise of white supremacy in the US.
Research Expertise and Interest
public health, epidemiology, specialty area in multicultural health, behaviorial science, social movements, race and ethnicity, medical anthropology, American popular culture
November 4, 2020
UC Berkeley scholars awoke Wednesday, Nov. 4 to signs of a deeply divided U.S. electorate, and no blue wave on the horizon. Despite a surge in early voting, ballots were still being counted in several battleground states. As of noon that day, the race between President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden remained too close to call.
October 5, 2020
The widely reported deaths of Michael Brown and Philando Castile reflect a grim truth in this country: According to data collected by The Washington Post, around 1,000 people are shot and killed by the police in the U.S. each year, and Black men are more than twice as likely to be victims as white men.
June 25, 2020
Berkeley Public Health is committed to research that reveals how racism drives systemic inequities within the health sciences.
June 24, 2020
Race- and ethnicity-based inequities in health outcomes for Americans are not news to public health specialists. Here at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, our faculty, researchers, and students have been working to illuminate the many ways in which racism affects who gets healthcare, how that healthcare is delivered, and possible solutions to entrenched problems like police brutality.
April 24, 2020
The broad death disparities black communities face during the spread of COVID-19 reflects health and societal inequities that existed for communities of color in the United States, long before the disease became a pandemic.
April 23, 2020
There are various reasons COVID-19 is killing black people at six times the rate of white people. But one largely unexamined contributor to the disparity is the trauma and stress caused by police violence in those communities, and the physical toll of that violence.