Online training


Online training
BYO computer, your house, your address


29 Oct 2020


3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

The Black Butterfly: Baltimore’s Harmful Politics of Race and Space

This online lecture has been organised by the Cities, Environment and Liveability (CEL) Pathway and is open to all ESRC and non-ESRC funded PhD and MA Social Research students within the WRDTP’s seven partner universities. Whilst this session has been organised by the CEL Pathway, students aligned with other interdisciplinary Pathways are welcome to attend if it’s themes and content will be of use to you in your research.

Activist-scholar Lawrence Brown from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA) will give a talk based on his forthcoming book, The Black Butterfly: The Harmful Politics of Race and Place in America (to be published in January 2021 by John Hopkins University Press). Focusing an historical account of events in the city of Baltimore, the book asks, How can American cities promote racial equity, end redlining, and reverse the damaging health- and wealth-related effects of segregation?

In his talk, Lawrence will reveal how ongoing historical trauma caused by a combination of policies, practices, systems, and budgets is at the root of uprisings and crises in hypersegregated cities around the USA.

Putting Baltimore under a microscope, he will look closely at the causes of segregation, many of which exist in current legislation and regulatory policy despite the common belief that overtly racist policies are a thing of the past. Drawing on social science research, policy analysis, and archival materials, Brown reveals the long history of racial segregation’s impact on health, from toxic pollution to police brutality.

But there is reason to hope. Lawrence also provides potential solutions for activists, nonprofits, and public officials to achieve racial equity. Reflecting his activist-scholar position, he offers innovative solutions to help heal and restore redlined Black neighbourhoods, including municipal reparations.

Dr. Lawrence Brown

Associate Professor, University of Wisconsen-Madison

Dr. Lawrence Brown

Lawrence Brown, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor and the former director of County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

The grandson of Mississippi Delta sharecroppers and preachers, he honed his passion for advancing racial and health equity at an early age. An expert on the impact of historical trauma on community health, Brown was the co-founder of the lead poisoning awareness initiative #BmoreLEADfree and formerly served as an associate professor and population health researcher at the School of Community Health and

Policy at Morgan State University. In 2018, he was honoured by the Open Society Institute-Baltimore with the Bold Thinker award for his advocacy and contribution to the discourse regarding racial segregation in the city.

Brown earned his doctorate in health outcomes and policy research from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, his master’s degree in public administration from the University of Houston, and his bachelor’s degree in African American studies from Morehouse College. From 2010 to 2012, Brown was a postdoctoral research fellow in the W.K. Kellogg Health Scholars Program at Morgan State University School of Community Health and Policy.

To pre-order a copy of Dr. Brown’s book, please visit

This training session will be delivered via Blackboard Collaborate. The link to this event will be sent to students who book on via the booking form (to follow).