Dr. Laird's research at Boston University has focused on multiple intersections of Muslim identity with healing professions and public health in the US. His early research on shared symbols of Muslims and Christians in Bethlehem set forth a research agenda on the “dialogue of life.” Dr. Laird employs a “lived religion” and ethnographic approach, and draws on theories of racialization, social suffering, and identity formation. While continuing to write on Christian-Muslim relations in theological circles, he has published articles on how Muslims are represented in medical literature, the emergence of Muslim free clinics, Muslim healthcare chaplaincy, American Muslim physician identities, the religious health assets of predominantly Black Christian and Muslim congregations, im/migrant women's experience of intimate partner violence. With colleagues in medicine, Dr. Laird has led qualitative studies on chronic pain, diabetes, HPV vaccination, chiropractic care, and telehealth disparities. He was a leader in the Greater Boston Muslim Health Initiative and is currently working on projects with the American Muslim Health Professionals; and with local im/migrant communities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Laird teaches courses on theory in medical anthropology, refugee and im/migrant health, religion and public health, and the formation of health professionals.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility
The Medical Anthropology & Cross-Cultural Practice program cultivates the study and practice of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. The program emerged from the Boston Healing Landscape Project, a research program to document the intersection of religious pluralism and healing practices within minoritized ethnic and cultural communities in Boston. We are committed to teaching and research engaged with local organizations most affected by social and structural systems of oppression.
As a cis, straight, White, married, male Christian raised in suburban communities of the American South, with educational credentials from public and private “Ivy” institutions, I inherited multiple forms of unearned social privilege. However, early in college, I began to confront the consequences of my narrow and exclusive understandings of gender, race, sexuality, and religion. My undergraduate mentor, a Sufi Muslim professor from Tanzania, challenged me to grow as a faithful critic of my inherited traditions.
My subsequent deep immersion in contextual, feminist, Islamic and Christian theologies of liberation--through texts, ethnographic work, and friendships--led to a greater appreciation of diversity within traditions and cultures and a commitment to interfaith collaboration for social justice. Becoming a transracial adoptive parent of two African-American boys brought me into intimate contact with a wide range of challenges, relationships and resources for healing well beyond my own cultural heritage.
I have continued to pursue personal and professional engagement with Black, immigrant, refugee, gender, religious, and sexual minority communities; with an assets-based approach to health-seeking and care and by exposing structures that foster ill health. A growing edge for me, and one in which my students have been great teachers, is seeking to transform ableist approaches to education.
Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students)
Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences
Expanding the Health Network: the Role of Immigrant Community Based Organizations in COVID-19 Vaccine Information and Access
03/01/2021 - 02/28/2022 (PI)TSNE MissionWorks/BUILD Initiative
Muslim Healthcare Chaplaincy in the US: Voices from the Margin
01/01/2019 - 06/30/2020 (Subcontract PI)Rush University Medical Center Assoc Prof Chaplains
Institutional Responses to the Needs of Muslim Patients: Hospitals and CHCs
12/01/2006 - 11/30/2007 (PI)
Inst. for Social P'cy and Understanding
Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other
sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can
to make corrections and additions.
Showing 10 of 32 results.
Mitchell SE, Bragg A, De La Cruz BA, Winter MR, Reichert MJ, Laird LD, Moldovan IA, Parker KN, Martin-Howard J, Gardiner P. Effectiveness of an Immersive Telemedicine Platform for Delivering Diabetes Medical Group Visits for African American, Black and Hispanic, or Latina Women With Uncontrolled Diabetes: The Women in Control 2.0 Noninferiority Randomized Clinical Trial. J Med Internet Res. 2023 May 10; 25:e43669.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37163341; PMCID: PMC10209787; DOI: 10.2196/43669;
Laird LD, Abdul-Majid S. Muslim Chaplains in the Clinical Borderlands: Authority, Function, and Identity. J Relig Health. 2023 Feb; 62(1):147-171. PMID: 36044104
Roseen EJ, Kasali BA, Corcoran K, Masselli K, Laird L, Saper RB, Alford DP, Cohen E, Lisi A, Atlas SJ, Bean JF, Evans R, Bussières A. Doctors of chiropractic working with or within integrated healthcare delivery systems: a scoping review protocol. BMJ Open. 2021 01 25; 11(1):e043754.View Related Profiles. PMID: 33495261; PMCID: PMC7839851; DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-043754;
Cheng T, D'Amico S, Luo M, Lestoquoy AS, Yinusa-Nyahkoon L, Laird LD, Gardiner PM. Health Disparities in Access to Nonpharmacologic Therapies in an Urban Community. J Altern Complement Med. 2019 Jan; 25(1):48-60.View Related Profiles. PMID: 30234363
Mitchell SE, Laurens V, Weigel GM, Hirschman KB, Scott AM, Nguyen HQ, Howard JM, Laird L, Levine C, Davis TC, Gass B, Shaid E, Li J, Williams MV, Jack BW. Care Transitions From Patient and Caregiver Perspectives. Ann Fam Med. 2018 05; 16(3):225-231.View Related Profiles. PMID: 29760026; PMCID: PMC5951251; DOI: 10.1370/afm.2222;
Hunter-Adams J, Cochran J, Laird LD, Paasche-Orlow MK, Geltman PL. Acculturation and a Potential Relationship with Oral Health Outcomes Among Somali Refugees in Massachusetts. J Immigr Minor Health. 2018 Apr; 20(2):351-359.View Related Profiles. PMID: 28861739
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