My name is Shawna Howard, a Comparative Women’s Studies major, Public Health minor from Charlotte, NC. I plan to be a pursue a career in Public Health, specializing in Maternal and Child Health. According to the CDC, African-American pregnant women are nearly four times more likely to die from pregnancy related complications than are white women. African-American pregnant women are also two to three times more likely to experience preterm birth, and three times more likely to give birth to a low birth weight infant. My experiences and bewildering statistics like the one mentioned have led me to the field of maternal and child health.

My mindset going into this course is to learn as much as possible about the artist that I already love, along with those that I have yet to be introduced to. I think that music is an integral part of the African-American experience. While, it is an integral part of our lives it is also an important piece of other’s lives. This act of sharing often comes with appropriation and a lack of recognition.  This translates into many other sectors of our society including healthcare, which is one of my main interest.

I have a decent amount of experience with music, as an artist and also as a listener. My grandfather and father always took time to expose me to the music that was important to them growing up and even now as older adults. Along with this I played the piano and clarinet throughout my childhood to mid teenage years. Although, I am a little rusty on the piano I can still play the first song I ever learned flawlessly.