Dr. Ami Zota is an Associate Professor at the Department of Environmental & Occupational Health at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. She directs the ARISE-EJ lab at GW whose mission is secure environmental justice and improve health equity through advancements in science, policy, clinical practice, and communication.
Her current research examines how social-structural factors, such as racism, classism, and sexism, shape environmental chemical exposures and the health of women and children. Ami is equally committed to science communication and diversifying the scientific enterprise. Her work has been featured in high-impact national and international media publications including the Washington Post, USA Today, and the Atlantic Monthly and has helped shape health and safety standards for consumer product chemicals. Ami recently launched the Agents of Change in Environmental Health initiative with Environmental Health News to amplify voices of future environmental health and justice leaders from under-represented groups. In 2017, Dr. Zota was recognized as a Pioneer under 40 in Environmental Public Health by the Collaborative on Health and the Environment.
Intersectionality is a critical theoretical framework that emphasizes the influence of intersecting systems of oppression on the lived experiences of people marginalized by inequity. Although applications of intersectionality are increasing in public health, this framework is absent in environmental health, which has instead focused on the exposome, a paradigm that considers the totality of an individual’s environmental exposures across the life course. Dr. Zota will discuss how integrating intersectionality into the exposome can help advance environmental justice and health equity. She will introduce concepts and tools for environmental public health scientists interested in operationalizing this approach. Lastly, she will discuss examples of this approach from her transdisciplinary work on racial inequities in uterine fibroids.