Research Affiliate - David Stamps, Ph.D.

David Stamps


David Stamps is an assistant professor in strategic communication at the Manship School of Mass Communication. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, M.A. from California State University, Northridge, and B.A. from Columbia College Chicago. His research focuses on representations of marginalized groups and the impact of imagery and interpersonal engagement on audiences’ well-being. He is an accomplished researcher with substantial academic publications and presentations, as well as a former public relations practitioner and grant writer.

As a new Reilly Center Research Affiliate, Dr. Stamps recently began the digital, grassroots network initiate, VOTES COUNT prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of many goals for VOTES COUNT is to raise the consciousness of citizens regarding voter registration issues, practices such as voter intimidation and confusion, as well as attentiveness toward poll closures and other actions that may deter participation in the democratic process. Political participation is of even greater importance now given the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color. As part of this effort, VOTES COUNT is establishing partnerships with influential organizations to build community and support coalitions committed to creating a political environment reflective of the community. 

Dr. Stamps leads the Black & Essential consortium project, a brainchild of Dr. Stamps and the Reilly Center, which stems from the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on the Black community in Louisiana. Over the coming months and years, many policy decisions and programs will be created to address how communities and the nation can be better prepared for a disaster of this nature in the future. The voices of those who are deeply impacted, especially Black essential workers, will be critical to advance initiatives mitigating the systemic underpinnings contributing to the impact of this disease on communities of color. This project amplifies the lived experiences of Black Louisianans through narrative. The data conveys how Black Louisianans are navigating the pandemic and what policymakers and support organizations can do to meet their expressed needs. The first phase of the project, funded by former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s E Pluribus Unum organization, focuses on the Black Baton Rouge community. Future phases will broaden the population of respondents to the entire state.

Featured Research

"Black & Essential: Characteristics and Coping Strategies of Black Communities Amid COVID-19"

The LSU's Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs with the support of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana (BCBSLA) Foundation worked on research that underscores digital tools, cultural representation among medical professionals, proximity to medical facilities as strategies to mitigate COVID-19 disparities in Black Louisiana Communities.

Access BCBSLA report

"Black & Essential: Relational Maintenance and Coping Strategies Among Black Louisianans During COVID-19"

From physical and mental health, economic outcomes and education access to higher hospitalization and mortality rates, the disproportionate effects of COVID-19 on Black communities compared to non-Black counterparts are well documented in existing research. This study—a collaboration between LSU’s Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs and the Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force—expands that literature by offering strategies to mitigate those effects through new media (e.g., smartphone applications, telehealth services) and new media tools, such as delivery and pick-up services, to reduce exposure and keep Black Louisianans abreast of the latest health and safety information.

Access LA Health Equity Task Force report

"Black & Essential: Coping Strategies and Narratives of Black Baton Rouge, Louisiana Residents during COVID-19"

LSU's Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs and former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu's E Pluribus Unum organization partnered to explore the impact of COVID-19 on Black communities ahead of crucial policy decisions.

 Access E Pluribus Unum report