Professor Sharlene Newman was one of four Bloomington women to be collectively named 2018 Woman of the Year for a collaborative study examining the implicit biases of black and white young adults in Bloomington. Joined by Morgan Newman, Sharlene’s daughter, and Phoebe Powell, both Bloomington High School North graduates, as well as professor of public health Maresa Murray, Sharlene and her team compared the experiences of black girls in a predominately white town and school to the experiences of white girls in the same environment. Using focus groups and data collection, the project showed that from kindergarten through high school young black women have more negative experiences than white women.
Passionate about helping younger generations of black girls, Sharlene and her colleagues wrote an editorial for the Indianapolis Star that subsequently was picked up by USA Today. They met with school superintendents to encourage teacher trainings to better address issues related to race and gender, ultimately to help create equal opportunities for young black girls and women in Bloomington.
Sharlene has also been the focus of a number of other varied – and unique – news stories: a biographical blogpost in celebration of African American History Month; a press release on a study tracking the role of the transmitter glutamate in alcohol cravings; and a comic adventure in neuroimaging, titled “Is ‘The Bachelor’ Making Me Dumb?” by two Washington Post reporters.