“Be careful what you set your heart upon – for it will surely be yours.”
– James A. Baldwin
Research and Teaching Interests/Specializations
African diaspora studies; Black feminisms; community-engaged/social justice research methodology; race and racism; gender, prisons and mass incarceration; motherhood; reproduction and birth; maternal and infant health/care; health and healing; health equity; and health disparities
Originally hailing from a small Central Texas town, Eshe has spent the last 12 years of her life living, working, and playing in Austin, TX. She has a bachelors degree in Sociology and African-American Studies and received both her masters and doctoral degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. The concentration for her graduate studies focused on the African Diaspora and she also received a portfolio in Women and Gender Studies. Over the years, Dr. Cole has conducted research on alternatives to incarceration for mothers and their children in both Texas and New York as well as maternal and infant mortality for Black women nationally and in Texas. She has worked for both the state and local government assisting with research and program development, served as a consultant and contractor to a number of non-profits, and has extensive experience with community engagement, training, and group facilitation. She has spent the last 8 years devoting her time to community and social justice activism centered on the needs of poor and working class mothers and women of color in Austin, TX and is passionate about reproductive justice work. Eshe is a trained birth educator and birth companion (doula). In her free time, Eshe likes to read, write, watch movies, try new recipes from the food network, and spend time with family and friends. She has sung in two local bands in Austin and enjoys having dance parties with her two children. Currently she resides in Amherst, MA where she teaches classes at Amherst College.