Joseph Richardson joined the African-American Studies faculty in August 2006.

Dr. Richardson is the Joel and Kim Feller Endowed Professor of African-American Studies and Anthropology. This endowment supports his research on gun violence and trauma among Black boys and young Black men. Dr. Richardson received his PhD in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Rutgers University-School of Criminal Justice and his bachelor's degree in African and African-American Studies from the University of Virginia. He completed a Spencer Foundation Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Chicago and an NIMH clinical post-doctoral research training fellowship in Substance Use, Mental Health and HIV/AIDS in Correctional Healthcare at the Morehouse School of Medicine and the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Dr. Richardson holds a Joint Appointment in the Department of Anthropology (Medical) and a Secondary Appointment in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Division of Preventive Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Dr. Richardson's research focuses on four specific areas: 1) Gun violence; 2) The intersection of structural violence, interpersonal violence and trauma among Black boys and young Black men; 3) The intersection of the criminal justice and healthcare systems in lives of young Black men; 4) Parenting strategies for low-income Black male youth. Trained as a criminologist and medical anthropologist. Dr. Richardson uses an inter-disciplinary, intersectional and longitudinal qualitative research approach. He is specifically interested in understanding the ways that the healthcare and criminal justice systems intersect and impact the lives of Black male survivors of violence. Dr. Richardson is the Founder and Executive Director of the Transformative Research and Applied Violence Intervention Lab (TRAVAIL). This lab uses a multidisciplinary approach integrating behavioral and social science, medicine, public health, social work, law, computer science and the digital humanities to understand gun violence, its causes and collateral consequences, that will inform the development of innovative interventions to reduce gun violence.

His research utilizes the two busiest trauma centers in Maryland to understand violence, violent injury and trauma among young Black men. As Principal Investigator, Dr. Richardson's research on risk factors for repeat violent and linkages and barriers to care among violently injured young Black men informed the development and implementation of the Capital Region Violence Intervention Program (CAP-VIP) a hospital-based violence intervention program at the University of Maryland Capital Region Health. Dr. Richardson is the Co-Founder, and former Co-Director and Research Director of the CAP-VIP (2017-2019). CAP-VIP is the second hospital-based violence intervention program in Maryland and a member of the Health Alliance for Violence Intervention (The HAVI). 

He is currently the Principal Investigator for the UMB Center for Injury Prevention and Policy (CIPP) and the Violence Intervention Program (Baltimore), a hospital-based violence intervention program at the University of Maryland R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. As Principal Investigator, Dr. Richardson is leading violence research studies to understand the effectiveness of hospital-based violence intervention programs in reducing trauma and criminal recidivism and gun violence among victims and offenders. Through funding support from the Center for Victim Research  Researcher 2 Practitioner Fellowship, Dr. Richardson is producing a digital storytelling project titled Life After the Gunshot which explores the intersection of the healthcare and criminal justice systems among ten young Black male survivors of gun violence with histories of criminal justice involvement. He also produces a broadcast series by the same title.

Dr. Richardson was recently awarded a competitive UMD Brain & Behavior Initiative seed grant to study trauma, mental health and toxic environments among young Black male survivors of violent firearm injury. This study utilizes a virtual ethnographic approach with Chromebooks and Mifis to longitudinally explore trauma and mental health. He is currently collaborating with University of Chicago Trauma Surgeon and Professor Dr. Tanya Zakrison to develop a structural violence, structural competency and structural justice curriculum for trauma surgeons and medical residents with interests in violence, social and racial justice.

In 2018, Dr. Richardson was appointed by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan as an Advisory Board Member for the Maryland Violence Intervention and Prevention Program Fund Advisory Council (MD VIPP), Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention of Maryland (GOCCP). In 2019, he was appointed by the District of Columbia's Mayor's Office as a Committee Member for the District of Columbia Violence Fatality Review Committee under the DC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

His selected research publications have appeared in the American Journal of Men's Health, Violence and Gender, American Journal of Public Health, Journal of Urban Health, Journal of Surgical Research, Violence and Victims, Social Science and Medicine, Journal of Family Issues, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Spectrum: A Journal on Black Men, and New Directions in Child and Adolescent Development. He has produced an award nominated short documentary 'Bullets Without Names' which chronicles the experiences of a young Black male survivor of a violent firearm-related injury in the District of Columbia. He has been featured in several media outlets such as National Public Radio (NPR), The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, the Conversation, the Baltimore Afro, the Trace, Russia Today (RT), CBC Radio (Canada), Press TV (Iran), Global Times (China), NBC News (Washington DC), In Social Work Podcast Series at SUNY-Buffalo, and the Black Boys & Men Changing the Narrative Podcast Series at the New York University McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research. Dr. Richardson is a former Research Scientist and Member of the Institutional Review Board for the Friends Research Institute in Baltimore. He is an advisory Board Member for Project Change: Supporting Male Survivors of Violence, DC Office of Victims Services and Justice Grants. He is also a former Board Member for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. 

On his spare time, he is a Boxing and Non Classical Gung Fu enthusiast and an aspiring vintner. He is a native of Philadelphia.


  • Degree Type

My research philosophy is multi-disciplinary. I integrate criminology, sociology, medical anthropology, public health and emergency medicine to examine the intersection of race, class, gender, age and health risk behaviors among low-income young Black men. My primary theoretical frameworks are structural violence and social capital. I use longitudinal qualitative research methods and social network analysis as my research approach to understanding social phenomena.

Dr. Joseph Richardson
1141 Taliaferro Hall
African American Studies Department
jrichar5 [at]