JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Leaders of Jackson State University (JSU) announced Political Science Professor D’Andra Orey, Ph.D., has received a $509,000 multi-year grant from the National Science Foundation.

The funds will be used to explore the intersection of race, exposure to trauma and politics on urban residents compared to individuals residing in rural areas. Mississippi Valley State University, the University of Michigan, the University of Arkansas, along with Jackson State University, are partnering institutions.

“The grant is intended to help facilitate mutually beneficial relationships and research between faculty and students by partnering with other schools. Together, we intend to explore the mental duress caused through the heavy consumption of adverse media coverage coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic and exposure to the shooting of unarmed Black civilians,” said Orey.

Orey and his team plan to examine the exposure of COVID-19 related news in tandem with the shootings of unarmed Black civilians and its cumulative impact on Blacks’ mental health.

They will also dissect how subjection to racially and non-racially traumatic events affects mental distress and the correlation between mental suffering as it relates to trauma and the concept of insulation. The team will examine how Blacks and whites manage trauma, among other contributing factors.