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Brown Scholars

Karina Christiansen

How can we know how to move forward, if first we don't know how we arrived to where we are?

Karina Christiansen
PhD'16, MPP

Karina Christiansen

Karina Christiansen first came to the School of Public Health in 2007 as research staff at the Center for Human Nutrition in the Department of International Health, where she worked on projects to increase the availability of healthy food within corner stores in underserved neighborhoods of Baltimore. Interested in the wider systemic forces that shaped neighborhood conditions and opportunities for wellness, she decided to pursue a Master of Public Policy at Johns Hopkins University in 2009.

In 2011, Christiansen continued this path, joining the Department of Health Policy and Management in 2010. Her research focuses on explaining the development of the market for food in Black city neighborhoods in the post-War era. Epidemiologic data describes the lack of healthy food that disproportionately affects Black communities, independent of class, but cannot explain why such neighborhood conditions exist and persist. In fact, there is a long history within Black communities of identifying grocery conditions as problematic – selling inferior products at high prices, often with discriminatory practices by storeowners. Her research explored this history and its implications for policies promoting healthy food access in poor and marginalized communities today.

She also received the Center for a Livable Future-Lerner Fellowship in 2013 and 2014, to support research to advance a healthy, equitable, and sustainable food system. She holds a BA in History from Loyola University Maryland.