Dr. Patricia O’Brien-Richardson is an Associate Professor of Teaching at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. For the past ten years, she has been the CEO and Founder of Move it Nation, Inc., a public health non-profit organization whose mission is to empower youth to move their bodies and minds. She is also the author of a clean-eating book for busy professionals and students. Previously, she spent ten years living in sub-Saharan Africa supervising faith-based humanitarian projects in eight countries including South Africa, Zambia, Madagascar, Botswana, and Mozambique.
Dr. O’Brien-Richardson’s work focuses on health disparities and socio-cultural determinants of health among youth, in particular adolescent girls and women of African descent. She is the creator of multicultural and well-being programs and curriculum which has been included in the Boston Public Schools, the Newark Public Schools, the New York City Department of Education, and several schools and organizations across the northeast region of the United States.
Her research explores social, cultural, and structural factors that influence the health of women and girls of African descent, such as hair, and has been featured in Elle.com, NJTV News, and presented widely contributing to the growing body of literature addressing the need for public policies on hair discrimination including The CROWN Act in California and the expansion of the New York City Human Rights Law to protect the rights of New Yorkers to maintain natural hair and hairstyles.
Teaching and Research Interests
- Urban public health disparities
- Education policy
- Social justice
- Race, class, and gender policies
- Leadership Seminar
Women and Health
Health and Social Justice