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Dr. Dara D. Méndez is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health, specializing in reproductive justice, maternal and child health, and health equity. Her work focuses on the intersections of various forms of oppression, stress, and geographic location in understanding Black maternal and infant health, women's health, and racial/ethnic health disparities. Additionally, Dr. Méndez contributes to the executive team of the Black Equity Coalition, formerly served on the Pennsylvania Maternal Mortality Review Committee, and Health Equity Editor for Block Chronicles. 

Dara was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA before moving to Atlanta, GA to attend Spelman College where she completed a B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology (pre-medicine). During this time, she was introduced to the field of public health and specifically scholarship in Black Feminist Theory, Reproductive Justice, Critical Race Theory and gendered racism. Her undergraduate thesis, "External Internalization" was a mixed-methods study of how multiple forms of oppression contributed to stressful life experiences for Black women during pregnancy.

After earning her MPH and PhD in Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology, along with a certificate in Health Equity, from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Dr. Méndez returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh as a Kellogg Health Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Méndez is blessed with three wonderfully creative children: Cairen, Adrah, and Leilani, who constantly inspire her to embrace joy, laughter, and wonder in every moment. Her partner, Dr. Jason C. Méndez, is a writer, playwright, and educator. 

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