Doctoral candidate receives grants to study racism-based trauma

Diversity; PhD; Research; Social Work

Robert Motley Jr., a doctoral candidate at the Brown School and manager of the Center for Social Development’s Race and Opportunity Lab, has received a two-year $60,936 grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities and a $5,000 grant from the Fahs-Beck Fund for Research and Experimentation.

The funding is for his dissertation study entitled “Racism-Based Trauma, Emerging Adults, and Substance Abuse.”

The funding “signals the significance of the work,” Motley said. “Findings from the research will increase our knowledge of the prevalence and disparities in exposure to police use of force and also identify risk factors that substance-use prevention and intervention programs can target to assist black emerging adults.”

Motley’s research focuses on advancing methodology for measuring exposure to racism-based police use-of-force events and understanding of the relationship between exposure to police use of force, trauma symptoms and substance use for black people who are 18-29 years old.