Carnegie Mellon University

Joe Trotter

Joe William Trotter Jr.

Director and Founder, CAUSE

  • Baker Hall 246C
  • 412-268-2875
Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Joe William Trotter, Jr. is Giant Eagle Professor of History and Social Justice and past History Department Chair at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is also the Director and Founder of Carnegie Mellon’s Center for Africanamerican Urban Studies and the Economy (CAUSE). Professor Trotter received his BA degree from Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Minnesota. 

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Evie Jean

Evie Jean

Program Coordinator

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Ms. Evie Jean provides administrative and clerical support for Joe W. Trotter in his capacity as a faculty member of the Department of History and as the director of CAUSE. In addition, she maintains records, files, and databases, provides research support, and assists in the preparation of manuscripts for publication. She coordinates and assists with publicity of conferences, speaker engagements, and the CAUSE Lecture Series. 
She is a graduate of the University of Wroclaw (Poland), where she received a BA degree in Adult Education and Social Marketing.
 

Aishah Scott

Aishah Scott

Postdoctoral Fellow, CAUSE

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Baker Hall 242C
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Dr. Aishah Scott received her Ph.D. in Twentieth-Century American History at Stony Brook University. She specializes in Public Health and African American History. She is currently working on her book manuscript entitled, “Respectability Can’t Save You: The AIDS Epidemic in Black America.” This work focuses on the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the African American community and the role of “respectability politics,” or moral policing, on state and community leaders from 1980-2010. In particular, her work addresses how several forces shaped the national, local, and community responses—or lack thereof—toward the African American HIV/AIDS epidemic, especially in New York City. These forces include: the influence of the Black Church, the impact of respectability politics on federal and local government policies, class dynamics and gender relations. In excavating how the aforementioned forces profoundly shaped responses to HIV/AIDS among African Americans, she tells the story of a community silently ravaged by the epidemic. Unraveling these forces also illuminates how white supremacy pushed back against the legislative successes of the Civil Rights Movement through racially coded policy reform to preserve its autonomy. Through an exploration of HIV/AIDS, she argues that the history of African American public health has largely been shaped by the imposition and resistance to respectability politics of the state. HIV/AIDS is a vehicle, a placeholder of sorts, for understanding the ways in which respectability politics have been used to systemically racialize socioeconomic disparities that inherently leave the African American community vulnerable to health disparities. She shows this vulnerability is historical and reflects an intentional avoidance of systemic root causes (access to affordable housing, employment, quality education and healthcare) that was justified through racialized manipulations of respectability. Refusal to treat poverty as a trigger for the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the African American community is a contemporary manifestation of medical racism at best and genocide at worst.

She previously earned her Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Stony Brook. She is an advocate for social justice and closing gaps in healthcare for underrepresented communities. Her efforts in research, mentorship and community building were recognized by Stony Brook’s Center for Inclusive Education with the 2017 Scholar Award for Excellence and the 2019 Stony Brook Alumni Life Member Award. She has also taught specialized courses on AIDS, Race, and Gender in the Black Community as well as The Evolution of Black Politics.