mosaic of young african american and latinx scholars

2021-22 Sadler Scholars

Sadler Scholars are a select group of doctoral students with research interests relevant to bioethics who are from racial and ethnic communities underrepresented in this field in the United States. Admission to this initiative of The Hastings Center’s visiting scholar program is by application.

Sadler Scholars have opportunities to present and receive critical feedback on their own work in progress from Hastings Center research scholars. They also participate in professional development workshops with Hastings Center editors and invited experts, receiving guidance on writing for publication and on career opportunities in bioethics research and practice.

Stipends for Sadler Scholars are provided by the Blair and Georgia Sadler Fund for Socially Just Health Policy, which aims to cultivate a more diverse set of scholars committed to creating a more equitable world.

“The Sadler Scholars represent the next generation of bioethics: a field that is more diverse, widely interdisciplinary, and prepared to engage directly with how social inequality shapes human health and well-being,” said Hastings Center research scholar Nancy Berlinger, who directs the visiting scholar program and designed this initiative. “We are excited to welcome these colleagues into the Hastings Center community.”

Inaugural 2021-22 Sadler Scholars

Calvin Bradley, MDiv, MS
Degree Program: PhD, Conflict Analysis and Resolution Studies, Nova Southeastern University

About me: I am an African American male, born, raised, educated, and currently working in health care in rural eastern North Carolina. I am a pediatric chaplain with a passion for support and education concerning chronic illness, palliative care, and the social, cultural, and emotional wellness and development of adolescents and young adults. My professional goals include reducing the research-practice gap for rural communities and populations; developing initiatives to build youth and family resilience in response to illness and trauma; promoting the importance of culturally relational health care supports and resources for Black and Latino communities, and eventually serving in an executive capacity for a health care organization or public health entity.

My research interests in bioethics: My dissertation focuses on barriers to comprehensive health care for rural adolescent and young adult patients living with sickle cell anemia, with special attention to barriers to social, mental, and emotional health and supports for this chronically ill patient population. In addition to my dissertation work, I have spent the last year and a half developing a narrative-based spiritual assessment tool for adolescent patients battling chronic illnesses. This tool focuses on understanding the patient as a person, identifying areas of care that need further clarification, and incorporating the patient’s personal goals into their care plan. Improving health and education disparities for African American and Latino youth remain a top priority for me in both research and practice.

Clauden Louis, MD, MS
Degree Program: MPH, Johns Hopkins University

About me: I am a first-generation student who is the son of immigrants from the island of Haiti. I am chief resident in heart surgery and a student of public health. My professional goals are to master the care of complex congenital heart surgery patients and find answers to tough questions regarding the ethics of their care.

My research interests in bioethics: My research interests reside in medical ethics and outcomes in minorities. Areas I would love to explore include the end-stage use of therapeutics such as ventilators during pandemic triage; improving clinical trial representation, and ethical implications in low-volume institutions completing complex surgery.

Moya Mapps
Degree Program: PhD, Philosophy, Yale University

About me: I study ethics and feminist philosophy. I’m still figuring out what to write my dissertation about, but here are some of the papers I am currently working on. In “What Can Feminists Teach Us about Writing Philosophy Papers?” I explore methodological questions about the way we do moral philosophy. Drawing on the work of Charles Mills and other feminist philosophers, I challenge the abstract, impersonal approach that dominates analytic moral philosophy and defend a more concrete, personal, contextual style of moral discourse. In “Believing Women,” I explain and defend the feminist principle that we should believe people when they claim to be survivors of sexual harassment and assault. To borrow a line from Miranda Fricker, my paper “is neither straightforwardly a work of ethics nor straightforwardly a work of epistemology; rather, it renegotiates a stretch of border between these two regions of philosophy.” I have an essay forthcoming in The Philosopher, “Can Pronouns Be Private?”

My research interests in bioethics: I’m starting to think about a tension in Black activism. On one hand, many Black activists are deeply critical of the prison system. But on the other hand, our demands for justice are often expressed through that very system. I doubt this tension can be resolved fully, but I think there might be some helpful resources in moral and legal philosophy.  In the summer of 2020, I published an essay on “Technology, Testimony, and the Black Lives Matter Movement.” I also coauthored a policy paper in the American Journal of Bioethics, “Racial Justice Demands Ending the War on Drugs.” I’m also thinking about the ethics of suicide. When is intervention permissible, and what forms can it take? I am troubled by the paternalistic and often violent ways in which our society tends to treat suicidal people. But at the same time, there seem to be some circumstances in which intervention would be justified. In metaethics, I am interested in the anti-realist theories of Christine Korsgaard, Allan Gibbard, and Sharon Street.

Kimberly Vargas Barreto, MA
Degree Program: PhD, Philosophy, Loyola University Chicago

About me: As a Latina, I am interested in developing ways for bioethics to be more inclusive to women and the LatinX community. My interests center around the treatment of minors in medicine, increasing diversity in hospitals, and the epistemic injustices experienced by patients and healthcare professionals of color, I would like to someday work in hospitals and ethics committees to some degree, where I may work towards implementing change. I also enjoy working with students and the theoretical side of bioethics, so one of my professional goals is to also work in academia.

My research interests in bioethics: My research focuses on the integration of race, gender, and bioethics. My dissertation argues that the current mainstream frameworks used in bioethics are harmful to patients of minority backgrounds because they focus on the ideologies and preferences of the West and of dominant, or “core,” countries. I am interested in looking at frameworks from the periphery and trying to adapt mainstream bioethics frameworks, such as principlism, to reflect frameworks produced by other cultures. I mainly focus on Latin American and feminist philosophies and their approaches to bioethics. I would love to explore these topics more deeply, discuss how current frameworks render already marginalized identities, including intersectional identities, invisible and present possible solutions.

Jada Wiggleton-Little
Degree Program: PhD, Philosophy, University of California San Diego

About me: I am an African-American female from North Carolina. I was a first-generation college student. I primarily study pain philosophy, social epistemology, and clinical ethics. I have secondary interests in neuroethics and philosophy of race. I am pursuing a career as a clinical ethicist, preferably at a teaching hospital so I can teach part time at a medical school.

My research interests in bioethics: My primary research interest is in the unfair distribution of pain acknowledgment across race and gender that has resulted in two ethical dilemmas simultaneously plaguing the U.S. health care system: pain disparities and the opioid crisis. I am interested in cases in which prejudice prevents a patient’s report of pain from being believed (prejudicial testimonial epistemic injustice) and cases in which prejudice prevents a clinician from taking the patient’s report of pain seriously enough to act upon the information (discursive epistemic injustice). I would like to explore the ethics of evaluating and trusting patient’s self-report, especially regarding chronic pain.

Keona Wynne, MA
Degree Program: PhD, Population Health Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

 About me: I am interested in addressing deep-seated trauma and suffering within communities stemming from violence. As a trauma survivor, it is my experience that violence within communities and homes often is synergistic with various health ailments. Yet, as a Black person, it was also my experience that many systems to reform violence or harm—whether structurally or interpersonal—were deeply flawed and ahistorical. My professional goals are to continue to work creatively on personal and social responsibility for health within Black communities, given the context of slavery, segregation, Jim Crow, and police brutality. 

My research interests in bioethics: My research interests center around how to cultivate an appropriate sense of personal responsibility for health in Black Americans given historical context. This work leads me to study bioethics and questions of responsibility paired with social epidemiology. An offshoot of this interest led me to explore how the creative arts can be used as a tool to cultivate a sense of self that cares for the self. This exploration allows for community participatory research, such as partnering with artists and community leaders to teach classes as well as creating visual art with artists. This portion of the work sparked my interest in virtue and care ethics and how these frameworks can be used and explored in Black community contexts.

Finally, my research broadly centers around questions of justice in response to wrongdoing, rather than structural or interpersonal violence as these questions are intertwined with health disparities.