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McNair Scholar 2017Tyra Reed

Tyra Reed is a senior at the University of Minnesota pursuing her degree in Psychology and minoring in Public Health. Her research interests include racial disparities, health disparities, and systematic mistreatment. Ms. Reed plans to pursue graduate level education soon after undergraduate completion

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My dream is to create systemic change in whichever medium I see my strengths will best fit. I also want to create spaces for individuals where they can acquire knowledge about systems and social issues that they may not obtain anywhere else. My biggest dream is to be happy and remain true to my values while doing so.

Research project

The Effects of Skin Color on Health: Trends from the General Social Survey

Abstract: This research analyzes whether darker skinned individuals have poorer health compared to lighter individuals in the United States of America. Previous studies have shown consistent links between overall racism and poorer health outcomes, but many have not explored the links of skin color. Interviewer selection of skin color based on color cards (scale of 1(lightest) -10(darkest)), self-reported health, and sex data from the General Social Survey (GSS) was used to compare health among varying skin colors of black, white, and other identified participants. 4,343 participant responses were analyzed in Microsoft Excel from three separate years of data (2012, 2014, 2016). Via both a student’s t-test and regression analysis for each sex, race, and skin tone classification, we found that overall darker skinned African Americans have better health than lightest and medium toned African Americans and lightest white females have better health than medium toned white females. Results did not support the hypothesis that individuals with darker skin have poorer health. These results may implicate that darker skinned individuals have more protective factors for health or that identifying to a race has more effects on health than identifying to a skin color. Download poster. [PDF]

Faculty profile

Dr. Samuel L. Myers, Jr is a distinguished professor and current director of the Roy Wilkins Center for Human Relations and Social Justice. Obtaining his Ph. D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Economics, Dr. Myers has committed his work to applied econometrics, social policy, discrimination detection, leadership and much more. This year, he received the Marilyn Gittell Activist Scholar Award from the Urban Affairs Association (UAA) and SAGE Publishing. This is also Dr. Myers’s 23rd year of working with students from the McNair program.