By: Marvin Roxas
On Friday October 20th, David Fakunle completed his four year-long PhD at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where he defended his dissertation: Black, White or Green? The Effects of Racial Composition and Socioeconomic Status on Neighborhood-level Tobacco Outlet Density in Maryland. David Fakunle, PhD defended his dissertation at the Hampton House where his parents, family members, and friends were present to support him. His mother, Mama Deborah Fakunle, shared with the crowd of people celebrating David's successful defense of his dissertation: "I am so proud of what you did for our ancestors who never even got to finish high school."
"What can I say about WombWork? It's been a wonderful experience to really express the wisdom and knowledge of lived experience. And as somebody who just finished his PhD from Hopkins, lived experience is very important. And really understanding public health. So to be able to express it artistically in a form that anyone can understand has really informed my work as a researcher and my research has informed how we can better express the important information about life in Baltimore, whether it's violence, whether it's drugs, whether it's HIV, bullying, or so many other factors that affect our livelihood. To be able to express it artistically has made me a better researcher and being a researcher has made me better at expressing artistically. So WombWork has been an essential part of this process from day 1 to day 0 'cause it's over.
No matter what you do, you are always giving back to the community where you grew up. Ladies and gentlemen... it is with the spirit of my ancestors, my family and my city that I utter these words: the doctor is in."