Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

At the Department of Biostatistics, we are strongly committed to anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion practices - both in the world of public health through our research, and within our own department as educators.

While we’re actively engaged in many efforts to pursue this goal, we recognize that a significant component of improving is listening to the needs of the community. To this end, we invite any with ideas for programs they’d like to see, suggestions for how we can improve, or feedback on our efforts in general to submit these anonymously using the form linked below.

At Our Department

News and Resources

  • On February 26th, our department's Dr. Melody Goodman took part in a special discussion on "Eugenics and Statistics; Past, Present and Future" at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health alongside Drs. Scarlett Bellamy, Tukufu Zuberi, and Marcello Pagano. A recording of this event can be found here.
  • This January, we were thrilled to host Dr. Tukufu Zuberi of the University of Pennsylvania's Department of Sociology as part of our seminar series for his talk, "Social Statistics: Science, Propaganda, and Fiction". You may find a video recording of this session here.
  • Last summer, Dr. Melody Goodman - together with Dr. Danielle Ompad - offered a free Special Topics course, Through the COVID-19 Magnifying Glass: An Examination of Racial and SES Disparities in the U.S. This course brought in various guest speakers and examined the racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic health disparities in COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and mortality; you can watch recordings from four of the five sessions here.
  • At the JSM 2020 Annual Conference, Dr. Melody Goodman participated in a panel titled "The Need for Interpretable and Fair Algorithms in Health Policy":
    A screenshot of the panelists speaking at the JSM panel
  • This summer, the NYU School of Global Public Health and the GrassROOTS Community Foundation collaborated to provide a free 4 week statistical training program to high school students (9-12 graders) and undergraduates, with students attending community colleges, minority serving institutions, or historically black colleges and universities highly encouraged to apply. The Quantitative Public Health Data Literacy Training program provided a great opportunity for students to develop computing and analytic skills in today's popular statistical programs through the public health lens.  Several of the participants of this program attended a departmental recruiting event on “Biostatistics and Data Science in the Age of COVID-19.” (Video Summary)
  • The Department of Biostatistics at the NYU School of Global Public Health is thrilled to be launching our new “Pipelines into Quantitative Aging Research” Summer Program in the summer of 2021. The goal of this National Institute on Aging (NIA) sponsored R25 training program (NIA MSTEM: Advancing Diversity in Aging Research through Undergraduate Education (R25)) is to increase the participation of underrepresented minority groups in the fields of Biostatistics and quantitative Public Health, with a collaborative focus on the diseases and processes of aging. You can learn more about the program here.
  • We are a graduate group program member of the National Math Alliance, a community of mathematical sciences faculty and students with the goal of providing opportunities in graduate education and beyond among groups traditionally underrepresented in our fields. To this end, we have attended the Alliance’s Field of Dreams conference to begin this necessary outreach, as well as the American Statistical Association’s Statfest - both of which we are planning to take part in again this year.
  • Our department’s Dr. Rumi Chunara, together with her Chunara Lab, put together the tutorial “Machine Learning in Population and Public Health: challenges and opportunities” for the ACM Conference on Health, Inference, and Learning, which has now been made available to the public. In part 3 of this tutorial, they discuss the use of social variables in models, reasoning and challenges for using proxies such as race, and how algorithmic fairness interfaces with health disparities.
  • We are scheduling many talks within our seminar series to discuss pertinent issues regarding the intersection of race and biostatistics. Two such talks are already scheduled:
    • Wednesday, September 30th, 12:30 - 1:30pm - "Assessing the Cases and Deaths Attributed to COVID-19 and its Impact on Racial/Ethnic Inequities at the County Level: Are We Really All in This Together?", presented by Dr. Loni Tabb of Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health (AbstractRSVP)
    • Wednesday, November 18th, 12:30 - 1:30pm - "Lifting the Anchor: The Uses and Implications of Effect Codings for Categorical Predictors in Regression", presented by Dr. Jeffrey Simonoff of NYU Stern Department of Statistics (AbstractRSVP)
      • *This should not be considered as a technical research talk; nontechnical and student audiences are encouraged to attend.
  • A symposium on the intersection of race and biostatistics is currently in development.

Relevant Faculty Publications (Past Year)

  • Melody Goodman, Christine M. Plepys, Jemar R. Bather, Rita M. Kelliher, Cheryl G. Healton. Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Academic Public Health: 20-Year Update Public Health Reports 2020; 135(1): 74-81
  • Melody Goodman and Vetta Sanders Thompson Research literacy: An opportunity for meaningful engagement of minority communities in public health research in Racism: Science and Tools for the Public Health Professional. APHA Press, Washington, DC 2019
  • Devin English, DeMarc Hickson, Chandler Denton, Melody Goodman, Dustin Duncan. Brother to brother: Racial discrimination, sexual partner race/ethnicity, and depressive symptoms among Black sexual minority men. Archives of Sexual Behavior (in press).
  • Cook, S.H, Wood, E. P, & Chunara, R. (2019). Daily microaggressions and mood in a community-based sample of young gay and bisexual men: A focus on within-person daily processes. Currents, 1(1), 38-49. Epub (doi. org/10.3998/currents.17387731.0001.104).
  • Wood, E. P., Cook, S. H. (2019). Father support moderates the association between perceived discrimination and CRP for LGP but not heterosexual youth. Psychoneuroendocrinology. Epub (doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2019.06.019).
  • Wood, E. P., Cook, S. H., & Calebs, B. J. (2019). The Mediating Role of Emotion Dysregulation in the Relation Between Adult Attachment Insecurity and Depression Among Young Gay and Bisexual Men. International Journal of Sexual Health, 1-10.
  • Kapadia, F., D’Avanzo, P. A., Cook, S. H., Barton, S., Halkitis, S. N., & Halkitis, P. N. (2019). Positive Development and Changes in Self-Rated Health Among Young Sexual Minority Males: The P18 Cohort Study. Behavioral Medicine, 1-10.
  • Cook, S. H., Wood, E. P., Harris, J., D’Avanzo, P., Halkitis, P. N. (April, 2019). The Health of Gay and Bisexual Men: Theoretical Approaches and Policy Implications.
  • Wood, E. P., & Cook, S. H. (in press). A multi-layered financial incentive structure to retain sexual minority emerging adults in longitudinal studies that include biospecimens collection. In E. M. Morgan & M. H. M. van Dulmen (Eds.), Sexuality in emerging adulthood. Oxford University Press.

Other Research Items

  • Relevant Faculty Labs
  • Relevant grant award (Dr. Stephanie Cook): Optimizing a Daily Mindfulness Intervention to Reduce Stress from Discrimination among Sexual and Gender Minorities of Color. Institute for Human Development and Social Change. May 2020 – May 2022. PI. Steinhardt.
  • Relevant Fellowships and Awards (Dr. Stephanie Cook):
    • Fellowship – Program to Increase Diversity in Cardiovascular Health Related Research (PRIDE). SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University/NHBLI. May 2020.
    • VP Office Mentee Award. VP Office of Diversity Equity and Inclusion. December 2019.

Resources and Community Events

Across NYU