Community Noise Lab in Mississippi
The overwhelming majority of our research work has existed in communities that have a fair amount of privilege in comparison to other parts of our country. These privileges include: strong socioeconomic base, community organization and support around a noise issue, proximity and access to world-class research institutions, engaged and sufficiently resourced local governments, and up-to-date infrastructure. As a result, we have not yet grappled with the question of how best to address environmental exposures such as noise in areas that have none of these privileges. Thanks to generous funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Community Noise Lab is starting a comprehensive and large-scale environmental exposure assessment in the Jackson Metropolitan Statistical Area, starting fall 2021. In addition to sound level data collection, we will also be collecting air pollution, water quality data and administering our National Environmental Quality Survey. We will also be engaging other public health practitioners, environmental engineers, sociologists, psychologists, artists, and urban planners to develop and test solutions for the environmental disparities experienced in this community.This geographical area lacks all of the key privileges listed earlier while simultaneously grappling with significant social, economic, and health disparities. This is also the birthplace of Dr. Walker. Our main operating research agenda is focused on leaving behind relevant tools, data, and knowledge to be utilized for continued advocacy.