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Biosketch of Fleda Mask Jackson, Ph.D.

fleda_portraitA scholar, educator, and activist, Dr. Fleda Mask Jackson is the President and CEO of MAJAICA, LLC, a national research firm and think tank. Dr. Jackson is the leader and creator of Save 100 Babies, a cross sector network based in Atlanta, Georgia devoted to a social determinants, asset-based  approach for eliminating racial disparities in birth and maternal outcomes. Dr. Jackson was a Professor of Applied Public Health at the Rollins School of Public and a Visiting Scholar in the Psychology Department at Spelman College. She has been a a Senior Fellow at the Center for Health Behavior Change at Morgan State University and a University Affiliate at Columbia University. 

With academic preparation in education, psychology and anthropology, Dr. Jackson's work is aimed at advancing the well being of women, children, families, and communities that is informed by community-based, culturally sensitive, asset-focused research. Over the past decade her work has been devoted to the study of the intersection of racial and gendered stress, resilience and resistance and its impact on the health and reproductive outcomes among African American women. 

With major grant support from the CDC and the Ford Foundation, she led a research team whose efforts produced a contextualized measure for assessing the intersection of racial and gendered stress  (Jackson, Hogue, Phillips Contextualized Stress). This work also includes  an intervention model expressly designed to respond to the particular psychosocial health risks of racism and sexism confronted by African American women. Funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and HHS Region IV supported the translation of her extensive work on contextualized stress to inform national and regional policies and practices that advance clinical and community level prevention and intervention for equitable birth outcomes and good physical and emotional health for African American women across the lifespan.     

As a leading authority on stress from gendered racism and its impact on infant and maternal outcomes, she is the author of numerous peer-reviewed scientific articles, book chapters and referred and public presentation on the topic. Her work has also been cited in major newspapers, magazines and media outlets that include ProPublica, Vox, Ebony, Essence, CNN and NPR. Her work has been featured in the award winning documentary, When the Bough Breaks, from the PBS series, Unnatural Causes: Is inequality Making Us Sick? She also appeared the HHS film by Tanya Lewis Lee, Crisis in the Crib and in the Lightbox production, Death by Delivery, a documentary on black maternal mortality in Georgia.

Dr. Jackson has worked collaboratively and conducted research with health agencies and academic institutions in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Wisconsin.She has served as a consultant and adviser for a wide range of organizations that include the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, the Center for Excellence in Women’s Health at the Harvard Medical School, The Ford Foundation (SisterSong), the Rhea and Lawton Chiles Center for Healthy Mothers and Babies at the University of South Florida, and the Children's Defense Fund. Dr.Jackson  was a commissioner for the Georgia State Children's Trust Fund. She  served as a member of the National Advisory Committee on Health Disparities for the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and was approved by the Obama White House and the Department of Health and Human Services to serve on the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality (SACIM) where she chaired the Healthy Start Subcommittee. She was the chair and co-chair for the United Way of Greater Atlanta's Babies Born Healthy Initiative and was a member of the expert panel for the Clayton County Board of Health"s Perinatal Coalition. Fleda Mask Jackson co-chaired the Equity subcommittee for the Prematurity Collaborative for the March of Dimes.

The recipient of the Spelman College Alumnae Achievement Award in Health and Science and the Delta Sigma Theta Award for Health Activism, the city of Atlanta honored her work by naming September 23rd, 2002 as Dr. Fleda Mask Jackson Day. In 2014, she received the Maternal and Child Health Award from the Georgia Public Health Association and in 2018 she was honored by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance for her research and activism. National March of Dimes recognized her work and contribution to the field in 2019.    

Fleda Mask Jackson received a B.A. degree from Spelman College in Atlanta and  M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.  




 

 
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