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Dr. Shakiera
Tatianna Causey

Shakiera Tatianna Causey, PhD (Dr. Kiera) is a Research Scientist and scholar-activist who has presented her work domestically and internationally, centering the health experiences of Black families, Black women, and Black girls. A native of New Bern, North Carolina, she is passionate about utilizing her scholarship to effect change on the community and interpersonal level. Dr. Kiera is the principal consultant of Higher Cause, a nonprofit educational agency founded in 2016 that uses research and activism to assist organizations seeking to eliminate disparities related to health, gender, and race. In 2016, she initiated the Robert and Dorothy Joseph Memorial Scholarship fund, which is awarded annually to a graduating senior of color who has attended high school in Craven County. Community engagement and philanthropy are fundamental to her work.


Dr. Kiera has facilitated trainings and presented at various universities, international conferences, national and regional community events.  You can find her on Facebook and Twitter. 


In her leisure time, Dr. Kiera enjoys singing, hosting family and friends, traveling to experience different cultures, music, fantasy novels, horror films, and experimenting in the kitchen. She shares Southern comfort classics and travel-inspired recipes on her Youtube cooking channel Our Kitchen with Dr. Kiera.

Research Interests: HIV disparities in the US South, Black families, racial socialization and resilience, racial trauma, racial-health disparities, rural communities of color, Black women and girls, gender-based violence, health equity, and structural racism in healthcare, health policy.

Select Publications:

Journal of Black Studies

Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology

Journal of Child and Adolescent Health

Substance Use and Misuse



Interdisciplinary Research Training Program in AIDS Postdoctoral Fellowship

  • Duke University School of Medicine

  • Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences


  • The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

  • PhD Human Development and Family Studies



  •  North Carolina Central University

  •  MA Psychology



  •  North Carolina Central University

  •  BA Psychology, Minor: English

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