Louisiana State University and A&M College (United States)


Despite the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 and how the pandemic has exacerbated the influence of systemic racism on Black communities, their voices are nearly absent from critical conversations. The current project, Black and Essential, aims to address this discrepancy by examining data highlighting Black individuals’ experiences amid the pandemic. Too often, programs and policies aimed at addressing crucial issues, including food insecurity, access to healthcare, and mental health treatment, lack direct response and relevant criticism from the community. Black Americans’ access to vital services, such as healthcare, childcare, and public health resources, is vital. This work will explore the protective factors and coping mechanisms adopted by the group, such as familial support and community engagement, and bring Black Americans’ expertise to the table as discussions begin, programs are implemented, and money is deployed, addressing the systemic inequalities that impact society.

Principal Investigator

David Stamps

Assistant Professor, Manship School of Mass Communication, Louisiana State University and A&M College

David Stamps is an assistant professor in the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University. He earned his PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and MA from California State University, Northridge. His research is aimed at understanding the psychological and behavioral effects of identity-focused interpersonal interactions as well as individuals’ exposure to and engagement with media. Inherent in this work is a recognition that issues of class, gender, race, ability, geographic location, and sexuality meaningfully impact these relationships. His research appears in several published books, including Films as Rhetorical Texts: Cultivating Discussion about Race, Racism and Race Relations (Lexington Press), and in peer-reviewed journals including Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, the Howard Journal of Communications, Journal of Communication Inquiry, and American Communication Journal. Dr. Stamps is the inaugural recipient of the Claudine Michel Advocacy and Excellence Award and the Louisiana Board of Regents OER Common Faculty Cohort Award, and his work has been funded by the Congressional Black Caucus, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and the E Pluribus Unum Institute. He is currently working with the Governor’s Task Force in Louisiana to bring Black voices to the table regarding their lived experiences concerning the pandemic and racial unrest.