• Stacked Against Us

    Sumera Subzwari (see profile)
    Multiculturalism--Study and teaching, Graphic novels, Public health, Race, Ethnicity, Health--Social aspects, Diseases--Social aspects
    Item Type:
    Visual art
    biomedical research, community health, health disparities, racial equity, socio-economic equity, Diversity studies, Race/ethnicity, Sociology of health and illness
    Permanent URL:
    This graphic novel focuses on awareness and advocacy for more inclusive biomedical research and how current practices must be changed to benefit a variety of different people and communities. I chose a graphic novel to portray my message in an understandable manner while also allowing laypeople to empathize with each characters’ experiences through a visual medium. Imagery makes a bigger impact and is more memorable than simple text. The characters in the waiting room are from a variety of different racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. This was done intentionally to show how this study’s recruitment process was conducted differently which allowed underrepresented populations to be represented. As each character describes their circumstances that would traditionally hinder their participation - transportation inaccess, childcare, working hour concerns, lack of translation services, cultural values, or historical discrimination - they describe what researchers in this study did differently that enabled them to participate. There certainly are still things that the researchers in the story can improve on: although papers were provided in Spanish for Julio, he still needed a live-translator (who was not a certified translator) to understand medical terminology. The purpose of this is to show researchers who read the novel an easy step to first implement, and then understand what they can further do to overcome the language barrier. Many other populations and obstacles were not included - the intention was to keep the novel brief. These include insurance, stigma around sexual orientation, housing situations, etc. This project is for biomedical researchers - to show ideas to successfully include underrepresented minorities in research. The goal is to encourage them to think about these and begin implementation. We can motivate researchers to include these communities so research is more inclusive and results are applicable to large swaths of the U.S. population.
    This graphic novel was created as part of the final project for the seminar course "BIOL0940E: Precision Medicine or Privileged Medicine?" given at Brown University in the Fall 2018 semester, taught by Adjunct Associate Professor Robert Campbell.
    Last Updated:
    3 years ago
    All Rights Reserved


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