Stephanie Keeney Parks
Stephanie is a doctoral student at the University of California, Los Angeles in the Department of Anthropology. She also possesses a master’s degree in medical anthropology from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. Stephanie is a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Research Scholar and the recipient of the Cota V. Robles fellowship. Stephanie’s research centers on the everyday lives of Black parents who have children with autism The impetus for Stephanie's research is her lived experience as a Black woman and mother of an autistic child. Her dissertation research project, The Struggle for Black Disability Justice: Advocacy and Inequality in the U.S., brings together the fields of medical, linguistic, and psychological anthropology to consider how Black parents of disabled children are enacting advocacy efforts in their schools and communities. When faced with systemic racism, ableism, and a global pandemic, Stephanie examines how Black parents of disabled children craft strategies of resistance and survival, how new social movements that center on Black disability teach us about how disability is experienced and understood within and for the Black community, and how advocacy efforts, big and small, impact the social inequalities faced by disabled Black people. Stephanie is interested in centering the Black parent’s narrative and experience as the expert to decenter white ideologies on health, healthcare, disability, and Black culture.