Faculty Perspectives: Deborah Rigling Gallagher

August 5, 2015

Professor Gallagher led a Bass Connections project team that explored environmental justice and community health issues in a disadvantaged urban neighborhood in Dallas, in partnership with students at Paul Quinn College.

A plan to direct the city’s garbage to a landfill near the historically black college prompted resistance from the Highland Hills community. Residents in the predominantly low-income neighborhood already lacked environmental amenities such as access to a grocery store with healthy, affordable foods.

Using a community-based, participatory approach, the team examined links between ecology, redevelopment and health and sought to define options for addressing health disparities and revitalizing the neighborhood.

“Bass Connections was really transformative for me,” says Professor Gallagher. “I’m a public policy scholar; I look at data.” By partnering with faculty members with expertise in cultural anthropology and ecology, she learned a lot. “Since then I’ve done ethnographic research, which is new for me.”

Read more and learn how you can get involved in Bass Connections.