Dr. April Shaw is a staff attorney at the Network’s Northern Region Office. She is interested in a variety of health equity issues as they relate to economic, gender, and racial disparities. She is particularly interested in thinking through how multiple inequities intersect to create systemic disparities. April was previously a Research Scholar at the Center for Public Health Law & Policy at ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. She worked at the Project on Predatory Student Lending at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School and, prior to that, as a senior law clerk at the Arizona Court of Appeals.

April received her J.D. with distinction from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law in 2015, and won the Sarah Weddington Writing Prize for New Student Scholarship in Reproductive Rights Law. She earned her Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2010. There, she focused on social and political philosophy with an emphasis on gender and critical race theory.

Articles & Resources

Struggling in the Shadows: The Mental Anguish of Educational Fraud

Law & Policy InsightsMental Health and Well-Being

September 10, 2020
by April Shaw

Although there has been some attention to the mental health impacts of student loan debt, little attention has been directed towards the harm experienced by those with student loan debt who have been defrauded by for-profit colleges. These individuals have massive debt after pursuing an education that does not afford any of the opportunities typically associated with higher education. The harm they experience is not merely economic—it’s a social harm with deeply damaging impacts on mental health.

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Systemic Racism and Policing: How Can Public Health Advocates Grapple with the Dual Challenges of Systemic Racism and Discriminatory Policing?

Issue BriefMechanisms for Advancing Public Health

July 30, 2020
by April Shaw

Following the killing of George Floyd, localities have increasingly declared racism to be a public health emergency or crisis. Despite growing recognition of the fact that racism is a key contributor to poor health in communities of color, there is still insufficient attention to the role of policing and systemic racism as institutions that have powerful impacts on the health and well-being of people of color. This issue brief provides an assessment of how structural racism and policing function as critical social determinants of health for Black people and people of color generally.

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Women’s Health at Risk: How the Title X Final Rule Will Impact Poor and Low-Income Women

Law & Policy InsightsHealth Reform

November 7, 2019
by April Shaw

Title X is the only federally funded program for low-income patients exclusively dedicated to providing family planning and preventative services, including contraception and screenings for breast cancer, cervical cancer and STDs. Title X serves some four million people a year, most of them women. However, recent rule changes threaten to severely limit women’s access to these essential services.

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