Dr. Richardson is the MPower Professor of African-American Studies, Medical Anthropology and Epidemiology. Dr. Richardson was recently appointed as one of eight scholars selected as an inaugural MPower Professor by the University of Maryland Strategic Partnership, MPowering the State. MPower is a collaboration between the University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB) and the University of Maryland College Park (UMCP) to strengthen Maryland’s innovation economy, advance interdisciplinary research, create opportunities for students, and solve important problems for the people of Maryland and the nation. The new MPower Professorship was created to recognize, incentivize, and foster collaborations between faculty who are working together on the most pressing issues of our time. The MPower Professorship supports Dr. Richardson's innovative research on gun violence, trauma, mental health and community violence interventions for Black boys and young Black men. Prior to receiving the MPower Professorship, Dr. Richardson was awarded the prestigious Joel and Kim Feller Endowed Professorship. In 2023, Dr. Richardson was elected as a member of the National Academy of Medicine.

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 legal and healthcare systems in lives of violently injured 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 legal systems intersect and impact the lives of Black male survivors of violence.

In November 2023, Dr. Richardson was appointed by University of Maryland President Darryll Pines to lead Prevent Gun Violence: Research, Empowerment, Strategies and Solutions (PROGRESS). PROGRESS is a multidisciplinary gun violence research initiative that centers on uplifting and empowering the voices of the community through equitable research partnerships using translational science to advance solutions to gun violence reduction in the National Capital Region: https://bsos.umd.edu/academics-research/prevent-gun-violence-research-empowerme…

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. The lab is an incubator for novel ideas and interventions generated by Dr. Richardson's graduate and undergraduate research assistants.

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 injury, linkages and barriers to care and HIV risk behaviors 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 Medical Center. Dr. Richardson is the Co-Founder, Founding Co-Director and Research Director of the CAP-VIP (2016-2019). CAP-VIP is the second hospital-based violence intervention program in Maryland and the first HVIP in the National Capital Region. During his tenure, CAP-VIP was also recognized as a member of the Health Alliance for Violence Intervention (The HAVI). In 2022, Dr. Richardson was appointed as a HAVI Faculty Member.

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 the reduction of trauma and criminal recidivism and the victim-offender overlap among survivors of violent firearm injury. In collaboration with ROAR, a victim of crime clinic at the University of Maryland School of Law, Dr. Richardson is working with colleagues to develop a virtual peer healing model for Black men survivors of firearm injury in Baltimore: https://roarcenter.org/get-help/group-and-individual-therapy/

He is also leading a qualitative digital storytelling project in partnership with ROAR which investigates the lives of Black women survivors of violent firearm injury in Baltimore during the COVID epidemic.

Through funding support from the Center for Victim Research  Researcher 2 Practitioner Fellowship. Dr. Richardson is the Executive Producer and Director of the award winning digital storytelling project titled Life After the Gunshot https://www.lifeafterthegunshot.com/ which explores the social context of gun violence, trauma and the intersection of the healthcare and criminal legal systems among ten young Black men survivors of gun violence in Washington DC. He also produces and host a broadcast series by the same title.

Dr. Richardson was recently awarded a grant from Arnold Ventures with Co-Investigator, Dr. Daniel Webster (Bloomberg School of Public Health) to evaluate and enhance the effectiveness community violence intervention programs in the District of Columbia. Dr. Richardson will be leading the qualitative research for this longitudinal four-year study. In addition, he is also a co-investigator with Drs. Elinore Kaufman and Desmond Patton on a study which investigates the relationship between social media and gun violence in Philadelphia.

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, and is currently the Co-Chair for the District of Columbia Violence Fatality Review Committee under the DC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. In 2021, he was appointed as a member of Building Blocks DC Scientific and Expert Advisory Board. He is the Co-Chair of the Board for The Black and Brown Collective, an organization dedicated to centering the research of Black and Brown gun violence researchers, racial equity and narrative change in gun violence research. Dr. Richardson is also a Board member for the Research Society for the Prevention of Firearm-Related Harms.

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 man and survivor of a violent firearm-related injury in the District of Columbia. He has been featured in several media outlets such as PBS NewsHour, National Public Radio, Vice, The Appeal, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, The Conversation, Baltimore Afro, Baltimore Sun, The Trace, Russia Today (RT), CBC Radio (Canada), Press TV (Iran), Global Times (China), Asahi Shimbun (Japan), 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. 

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.

1123E Taliaferro Hall
African American Studies Department
jrichar5 [at] umd.edu