In her senior year at Bowdoin, Tracy Shirey ’14 wrote an honors thesis that looked at the civil rights movement and persistent patterns of racial inequality in her hometown of Waterloo, Iowa. Her research has been written up in the Des Moines Register, in the first story of a new series called “Black Iowa, Still Unequal?”
Shirey, who now works with Americorps in Washington, D.C., wrote her thesis for the Africana Studies Program with help from her advisor, Professor of History Patrick Rael. She told the Des Moines Register that she became interested in the topic after being surprised to recognize her own city in class discussions about racial inequality in urban areas.
The newspaper credits Shirey with writing a “deep historical analysis” that helps frame some of Waterloo’s recent struggles with racial tension and violence.
Shirey, who majored in Africana studies and biology, writes on her LinkedIn page that she is currently working in the community health field and is interested in in the connection between healthcare disparities and historical racial inequalities. She plans to become a physician.