Virtual Gatherings

Racial Profiling of Black Men During the Pandemic – A Virtual Gathering of Leaders and Call to Action

This virtual gathering will bring together nationally renowned scholar activists, researchers, and policy advisors to provide insights of the longstanding national problem of racial profiling in cities and towns across the country and raise a call to take action in midst of COVID-19 and killing of #AhmaudArbery and #SeanReed. Join us for a dynamic conversation on Wednesday, May 13th at 3 PM ET, LIVE on FACEBOOK.


Dr. Derrick R. Brooms is faculty in sociology and Africana Studies at the University of Cincinnati and serves as a youth worker as well. His research and activism focuses on educational equity, race and racism, and diversity and equity. Primarily, his research focuses on the lives and experiences of Black boys and men. He is author of Being Black, Being Male on Campus: Understanding and Confronting Black Male Collegiate Experiences (2017), co-editor of Living Racism (2018) and is working on a project that examines how Black men make sense of racial profiling and the killing of Black boys and men.
Dr. Courtney D. Cogburn is an associate professor at the Columbia University School of Social Work and faculty of the Columbia Population Research Center. She employs a transdisciplinary research strategy to improve the characterization and measurement of racism and in examining the role of racism in the production of racial inequities in health. Dr. Cogburn’s work also explores the potential of media and technology in eradicating racism and eliminating racial inequities in health. She is the lead creator of 1000 Cut Journey, an immersive virtual reality experience of racism that premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. Dr. Cogburn completed postdoctoral training at Harvard University in the Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar Program and at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. She received her Ph.D. in Education and Psychology, and MSW from the University of Michigan and her BA in Psychology from the University of Virginia.
Dr. Rashawn Ray is a David M. Rubenstein Fellow at The Brookings Institution. He is also an Associate Professor of Sociology and Executive Director of the Lab for Applied Social Science Research (LASSR) at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is one of the co-editors of Contexts Magazine: Sociology for the Public.Formerly, Ray was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Health Policy Research Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley and he currently serves on the National Advisory Committee for the RWJF Health Policy Research Scholars Program.
Ray’s research addresses the mechanisms that manufacture and maintain racial and social inequality with a particular focus on police-civilian relations and men’s treatment of women. His work also speaks to ways that inequality may be attenuated through racial uplift activism and social policy. Ray has published over 50 books, articles, and book chapters, and 15 op-eds. His articles have appeared in the American Journal of Sociology, Science Advances, Social Science Research, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Du Bois Review, and the Annual Review of Public Health. Recently, Ray published the book How Families Matter: Simply Complicated Intersections of Race, Gender, and Work (with Pamela Braboy Jackson) and another edition of Race and Ethnic Relations in the 21st Century: History, Theory, Institutions, and Policy, which has been adopted nearly 40 times in college courses.
Ray has written for New York Times, The Guardian, Huffington Post, NBC News, The Conversation, and Public Radio International. Selected as 40 Under 40 Prince George's County and awarded the 2016 UMD Research Communicator Award, Ray has appeared on C-Span,MSNBC, HLN, Al Jazeera, NPR, and Fox. His research is cited in CNN, Washington Post, Associated Press, MSN, The Root, and The Chronicle. Previously, Ray served on the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington Planning Committee and the Commission on Racial Justice with Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Dr. Desmond Upton Patton, Associate Dean for Innovation and Academic Affairs, founding director of the SAFE Lab and co-director of the Justice, Equity and Technology lab at Columbia School of Social Work, is a leading pioneer in the field of making AI empathetic, culturally sensitive and less biased. Through keynote presentations and interactive workshops, Patton is helping organizations develop a better approach to diversity and inclusion that includes fairer practices that address the challenge of prejudice, rather than contribute to it. Also the founder of the SIM|ED tech incubator at Columbia University, Patton’s research uses virtual reality to educate youth and policymakers about the ways social media can be used against them and how race plays a part.
Professor Patton’s early work attempting to detect trauma and preempt violence on social media led to his current role as an expert on language analysis and bias in AI. As a social worker, Patton realized existing gold standard data science techniques could not accurately understand key cultural nuances in language amongst predominantly black and Hispanic youth. In response, he created the Contextual Analysis of Social Media (CASM) approach to center and privilege culture, context and inclusion in machine learning and computer vision analysis. CASM can be applied by businesses and other organizations to observe social media and workplace communication channels for potentially incendiary language, which taken out of context can lead to violence. With this methodology, organizations can better foster diverse and inclusive environments and minimize employee conflict. Further, Patton’s insights on creating non-biased and culturally nuanced algorithms give tech companies a holistic perspective on various business and social issues. The companies that adopt these proactive measures are then able to ensure they are not unintentionally propagating bias.
In 2018, Professor Patton published a groundbreaking finding in the prestigious Nature journal, Digital Medicine, which uncovered grief as a pathway to aggressive communication on Twitter. The report was cited in an amici curiae brief submitted to the United States Supreme Court in Elonis v. United States, which examined the interpretation of threats on social media. Widely referenced across disciplines, Patton’s research at the intersections of social media, AI, empathy and race has been mentioned in the New York Times, Nature, Washington Post, NPR, Vice News, ABC News and other prestigious media outlets more than seventy times in the last three years.
Professor Patton won the 2018 Deborah K. Padgett Early Career Achievement Award from the Society for Social Work Research (SSWR) for his work on social media, AI and well-being. He was named a 2017-2018 fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society and is a 2019 Presidential Leadership Scholar and Technology and Human Rights Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights at Harvard Kennedy School.
Before joining the faculty at Columbia, Dr. Patton was an assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work and School of Information. He holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and political science with honors from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, a Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan School of Social Work and a doctorate in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago.
Desmond Patton is available for paid speaking engagements, including keynote addresses, speeches, panels, executive training and conference talks, and advisory/consulting services, through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®️.
Paige Fernandez is the Policing Policy Advisor in the ACLU’s National Political Advocacy Department. Fernandez develops and implements comprehensive strategies that achieve a clear vision of effective, democratic, and constitutional policing to establish and reinforce community trust in its peacekeepers. She also develops and leads nationwide advocacy around police practices. Fernandez’s approach to police accountability and reform places communities at the forefront of the work, a practice rooted in her grassroots experience. Prior to joining the ACLU, she co-founded and directed multiple chapters of Together We Stand, a nonprofit aimed at dismantling racism, discrimination, and police brutality. She also has a Masters degree in Public Policy from Oxford and a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College.

Resources: Racial Profiling of Black Men During the Pandemic

Speakers provide resources and supplemental information throughout the conversation.

Culture, Race, and Health: Implications for Racial Inequities and Population Health

The killing of Ahmaud Arbery highlights the danger of jogging while black

Ahmaud Arbery and the dangers of running while black

Virtual reality program explores racism by putting users in others' shoes

Why are Blacks dying at higher rates from COVID-19?

How to reduce the racial gap in COVID-19 deaths

Is Social Media Surveillance the Virtual Stop-and-Frisk? New Study by Desmond Patton

Why AI needs social workers and “non-tech” folks

Videos of police brutality are everywhere. What does watching them do to us?

Race-Related Traumatic Events Online and Mental Health Among Adolescents of Color

Medical mistrust impacts African American men's preventive health, but racism also matters

The Prison Gender Gap

“It’s Simply Because We’re Black Men”: Black Men’s Experiences and Responses to the Killing of Black Men

Why Police Kill Black Males with Impunity: Applying Public Health Critical Race Praxis (PHCRP)to Address the Determinants of Policing Behaviors and "Justifiable" Homicides in the USA

5 questions policymakers should ask about facial recognition, law enforcement, and algorithmic bias

The CARES Act Risks Becoming a Caste Act. Here's How We Change That | Opinion

California Now Has One of the Strongest Police Use-of-Force Laws In the Country

How police use of force policies can help to tend police violence

Fair Police Contracts

Toward a Psychological Framework of Radical Healing in Communities of Color


Resources: Racial Profiling of Black Women During the Pandemic

Whitney N. Laster Pirtle PhD Racial Capitalism: A Fundamental Cause of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Inequities in the United States (open access)

Whitney Pirtle PhD is editing a volume, Black Feminist Sociology that centers my praxis - Centering and Celebrating Black Women in Sociology

Cite Black Women Collective podcast about what Sociology needs to do

Whitney Pirtle PhD - blog about being a Black Academic mother during Covid

Whitney Pirtle PhD interview with Monica McLemore about Black women and health

Chandra Ford, PhD, MPH, MLIS co - authored Health Implications of Housing Assignments for Incarcerated Transgender Women

Chandra Ford, PhD, MPH, MLIS  authored  Graham: Police Violence, and Health Through a Public Health Lens

Ford, Chandra L., Griffith, Derek M., Bruce, Marino A. & Gilbert, Keon L.  (Eds.) (2019). Racism: Science &  Tools for the Public Health Professional. APHA Press. 

Ndidiamaka Amutah-Onukagha, PhD, MPH authored Missed Opportunities for HIV Prevention: Results of a Qualitative Study on Mother-Daughter Communication

Ndidiamaka Amutah-Onukagha, PhD, MPH News and Media webpage

SF Chronicle, SF Gate News, Bay Area & State, “Racial discrimination linked to higher risk of chronic illness in black women in new study”. Oct 11, 2018

Daily Cal. “UC Berkeley researchers find discrimination can cause chronic illnesses”. Oct 10, 2018

Black Press USA. I AM SUPERWOMAN: The Superwoman Syndrome and its Affects on the Culture of Black Women. Oct 9, 2018

University of South Carolina. The ‘skin you’re in’ may determine your health. Mar 28, 2018

NonProfit Quarterly (NPQ). Racism, not race, causes health disparities for black mothers. Apr 18, 2018

Allen AM, Wang Y, Chae DH, Price M, Powell W, Steed T, Black AR, Dhabhar F, MarquezMagaña L, Woods-Giscombe CL. Racial Discrimination, Superwoman Schema, and Allostatic Load: Exploring an Integrative Stress-Coping Model among African-American Women. Ann NY Acad Sci.

C Giscombe, T Steed, A Allen, Y Li, C Lackey, AR Black. The Giscombe Superwoman Schema Questionnaire: Psychometric properties and associations with mental health and health behaviors in African American women. Iss Mental Health Nursing

Paige Ferndandez's OpEd Defunding the Police Isn’t Punishment—It Will Actually Make Us Safer



Say Her Name: Racial Profiling of Black Women During the Pandemic – A Virtual Gathering of Leaders and Call to Action

As conversations have ignited across the nation resulting from the murder of Breonna Taylor, renowned scholar activists, researchers, and policy advisors provide research, evidence, and solutions to dismantling racial profiling of Black women. The virtual gathering emphasizes the double threat of the pandemic and raises a call to action.  


Amani M. Allen, Ph.D., M.P.H is Executive Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Community Health Sciences and Epidemiology at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health, where her research focuses on race and socioeconomic health disparities and the measurement and study of racism as a social determinant of health.

Her broad research interest is to integrate concepts, theories and methods from epidemiology and the social and biomedical sciences to examine racial inequalities in health as they exist across populations, across place, and over the life-course. Allen is Principal Investigator of the African American Women’s Heart & Health Study, which examines the association between racism stress, cardiometabolic risk, and biological stress more generally, among African American women in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is also Co-Principal Investigator of the Bay Area Heart Health Study which examines similar associations among African American men with an emphasis on coping and internalized racism. Her research has included work on doctor-patient race-concordance; the intersection of race, socioeconomic status, and gender on risk for psychological distress, disability, adult mortality, and child health and development; racial segregation; income inequality; and racism stress and a range of mental and physical health outcomes. Dr. Allen has published numerous academic articles in top scientific journals including the American Journal of Public Health, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Annals of Epidemiology, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences and Psychoneuroendocrinology, where her recent paper examining racial discrimination, educational attainment and biological dysregulation among African American women was recently named ‘Editor’s Choice’. Dr. Allen’s work has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, NPR, CBS, The Guardian, and the SF Chronicle, among others. She has received numerous awards for teaching excellence and as a junior faculty member was honored with the singular award for Distinguished Graduate Student Mentoring at the University of California Berkeley.

Allen received her Bachelor of Science (BS) in Biology and Neurophysiology from the University of Maryland, College Park, her Master of Public Health (MPH) from the George Washington University; her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from the Johns Hopkins University; and a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholars Program at UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley, before joining the faculty at UC Berkeley in 2005.

Dr. Chandra Ford is Associate Professor of Community Health Sciences and Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice and Health at the Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). She is lead editor (with Derek Griffith, Marino Bruce and Keon Gilbert) of Racism: Science & Tools for the Public Health Professional (APHA Press, 2019). After earning a doctorate in Health Behavior from the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina, she completed postdoctoral training in Social Medicine at the University of North Carolina and in Epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, where she was a W. K. Kellogg Foundation Kellogg Health Scholar. Most of her research falls into two broad areas: (1) empirical research examining the relationship between specific forms of racism and disparities in HIV testing and care; and, (2) conceptual and methodological work to improve the tools available for studying racism as a public health issue. She also examines health disparities and intimate partner violence among LGBT populations. Her work has been published in the American Journal of Public Health, the Annals of Epidemiology, Social Science & Medicine, the Boston University Law Review, and other peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Ford is privileged to have received several teaching awards and notable honors, and she serves the profession extensively. In 2016, she served on a National Academy of Medicine Committee on Community-based Solutions to Promote Health Equity in the United States of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine and named co-chair of the Committee on Science of the American Public Health Association’s newly formed Anti-Racism Collaborative. She previously served as president of the Society for the Analysis of African American Public Health Issues. In addition to her academic roles, she has been involved with the Black Radical Congress and has partnered with the Black Coalition Fighting Back Serial Murders.
Whitney N. Laster Pirtle is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Merced. She is also the faculty lead for the Sociology Health and Equity (SHE) Lab. Her published work explores issues relating to race, identity, inequality, and health. She is currently completing a book manuscript that explores the formation and transformation of the “coloured” racial group in post-apartheid South Africa and an edited volume on black feminist sociology. Her research interests include race and racism, identity, health equity, Black feminist sociology, and mixed methods. Her research is primarily informed by social psychological framework, and explores how social structures, like racial hierarchies, impact individuals lived experiences, well-being, and identities.
Ndidiamaka N. Amutah-Onukagha received her PhD in Public Health with a focus on Maternal and Child Health at the University of Maryland, College Park School of Public Health in 2010. She received her Master’s in Public Health from The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services in Maternal and Child Health in 2005. Dr. Amutah-Onukagha also received a BS in Public Health and BA in Africana Studies from Rutgers, The State University of NJ. Ndidiamaka has a longstanding commitment to public health that spans over 15 years of experience. Her current research interests include maternal mortality and morbidity, health disparities, reproductive health, infant mortality and HIV/AIDS in women of color. Ndidiamaka is a member of the American Public Health Association and is currently the co-chair of the Perinatal and Women’s Health committee in the Maternal and Child Health section. Additionally, Dr. Amutah-Onukagha completed the Kellogg Health Scholars Program (KHSP) Postdoctoral fellowship in Baltimore, MD. During her time postdoctoral fellowship her research focused on family planning and reproductive health in women receiving home visitation services. Dr. Amutah-Onukagha is a former President of The Society of African American Public Health Issues (SAAPHI) and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Women’s Health Network. Additionally, she is an Associate Professor in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. Since 2018, Dr. Amutah-Onukagha has planned and led a national conference on Black Maternal Health Inequities. The audience of almost 700 attendees has spanned healthcare professionals, community health workers, doulas, students, and community activists. Now in its third year, the 2020 conference has grown from a ½ day symposium to a full day conference with speakers coming to the Boston area from across the country. In addition to her co-chairs and illustrious team of volunteers and advisory board members, Ndidiamaka provides strategic vision and leadership for the conference and related community focused activities to ensure that voices of women of color are centered and amplified to address the urgent crisis of maternal mortality and morbidity in the Boston area and around the country.
Paige Fernandez is the Policing Policy Advisor in the ACLU’s National Political Advocacy Department. Fernandez develops and implements comprehensive strategies that achieve a clear vision of effective, democratic, and constitutional policing to establish and reinforce community trust in its peacekeepers. She also develops and leads nationwide advocacy around police practices. Fernandez’s approach to police accountability and reform places communities at the forefront of the work, a practice rooted in her grassroots experience. Prior to joining the ACLU, she co-founded and directed multiple chapters of Together We Stand, a nonprofit aimed at dismantling racism, discrimination, and police brutality. She also has a Masters degree in Public Policy from Oxford and a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College.

Beneath the Masks: Men, Masculinities, & COVID-19 Disparities

Join APA Division 51 President and UConn Health Disparities Institute Director, Dr. Wizdom Powell along with Dr. Brian Smedley, PhD of APA, Dr. Joel Wong, PhD, of Indiana University, Dr. Ron Levant, EdD, of APA Division 51 & Dr. Derrick Griffith, of Vanderbilt University. Death rates due to COVID-19 are highest among men across the U.S. There are sub-populations at great risk for COVID-19 disparities with higher impacts of racial/ethnic communities of color. If findings were rooted in biology, we would see across all racial/ethnic groups. Roles played by masculinities and psych0social factors, shared cultural expectations or standards of how men should be, we recognize that many of the expectations are socially constructed and operate in tandem with biological factors of potential disparate outcomes for men and boys. These conversations will center on reimagining masculinities, transforming systems, & advancing health equity.

APA Division 51 will 3 webinars on Men and Masculinities and COVID-19



Brian D. Smedley, PhD, is chief of psychology in the public interest and acting chief diversity officer, where he leads APA's efforts to apply the science and practice of psychology to the fundamental problems of human welfare and social justice. A national thought leader in the field of health equity, Smedley got his start in Washington, DC, as an APA Congressional Science Fellow, and subsequently served at APA as director of public interest policy. Most recently, he was co-founder and executive director of the National Collaborative for Health Equity, a project that connects research, policy analysis and communications with on-the-ground activism to advance health equity. He was also co-director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leadership National Program Center.

From 2008-14, Smedley was vice president and director of the Health Policy Institute of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, DC, a research and policy organization focused on addressing the needs of communities of color. Previously, Smedley was research director and co-founder of a communications, research and policy organization, The Opportunity Agenda, which seeks to build the national will to expand opportunity for all.
Ronald F. Levant, Ed.D., ABPP, is currently Professor Emeritus of Psychology, The University of Akron, where he served as Dean of the Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences from 2005-2009. He also served as the 2005 President of APA, and as Editor of the Psychology of Men and Masculinity (2007-2015). Dr. Levant has authored, co-authored, edited or co-edited 19 books and over 250 peer-reviewed refereed journal articles and book chapters. He is a the co-author for The Tough Standard: The Hard Truths about Masculinity and Violence  His research focus is in the psychology of men and masculinity.  Further information is at his website:
Dr. Joel Wong is a Professor of Counseling Psychology and Chair of the Counseling & Educational Psychology Department at Indiana University. Dr. Wong is a fellow of the American Psychological Association through Divisions 17, 45, and 51 and of the Asian American Psychological Association. His research interests are in the psychology of men and masculinities, positive psychology, and Asian American mental health. Dr. Wong is the co-editor of two books on men and masculinities – the APA Handbook of Men and Masculinities (with Dr. Stephen Wester) and the Psychology of Men and Masculinities (with Dr. Ron Levant). He is also an associate editor for the journal, Psychology of Men and Masculinities.
Dr. Derek M. Griffith is Professor of Medicine, Health and Society, and he is the Founder and Director of the Center for Research on Men’s Health at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Griffith also has affiliate appointments in American Studies, Health Policy, Human and Organizational Development, and Sociology at Vanderbilt, and he is the chair of the Tennessee Men’s Health Report Card. Trained in psychology and public health, Dr. Griffith has developed a program of research that focuses on developing and implementing behavioral and policy strategies to achieve equity in health and well-being. He has been a leader in three areas: (a) applying the concepts of intersectionality and manhood to men’s health; (b) developing and testing precision lifestyle medicine interventions to prevent and reduce the impact of obesity, cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease among African American men and other groups of men; and (c) conceptualizing institutional racism, men’s health disparities, and men’s health equity. His research has been featured on NPR and in Ebony, Time, USA Today, and numerous other national media outlets. Dr. Griffith is a contributor to and editor of two books: Men’s Health Equity (Routledge, 2019), the first book to describe unjust yet modifiable differences among men in the United States and across the world, and Racism: Science and Tools for the Public Health Professional (APHA Press, 2019), which offers insight and strategies to identify and address racism in various public health roles and settings. He is a member of the editorial boards of several men’s health and public health journals, and has been a guest editor of seven journal special issues or supplements on aspects of men’s health, health equity and men’s health equity. Dr. Griffith has co-authored or provided expert review of reports from the American Psychological Association, Promundo-US, and the World Health Organization. Dr. Griffith been the principal investigator of over 4-million dollars in research grants and co-investigator of over 26-million dollars in research grants from the American Cancer Society, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, other foundations, and several institutes within the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Griffith has collaborated with colleagues in Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and the United States on various research projects on health equity, men’s health, institutional racism in public health, and racism as a determinant of health. Currently, Dr. Griffith is conducting three studies: (a) Mighty Men, the first individually tailored, faith-based weight loss study specifically designed for African American men; (b) Tailor Made, the first weight loss intervention for African American and Latino men that seeks to incorporate individual psychological and biological factors; and (c) Engendering Trust in Health Care, which aims to create a new measure to increase African American men’s trust in health care by incorporating gender, age and race. Dr. Griffith was given the Tom Bruce Award by the Community-Based Public Health Caucus of the American Public Health Association in recognition of his leadership in community-based public health and for his research on “eliminating health disparities that vary by race, ethnicity and gender”. In addition, he was named a Fellow of the American Academy of Health Behavior for significant contributions to the field of health behavior research.

Beneath the Mask Fact Sheet

Beneath the Mask Fact Sheet

Additional Webinars and Resources

When We See Them: Optimizing supports for boys and their families amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

Communities of Color are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. While we are talking about the physical health impacts, there are several psychosocial impacts like anxiety, social isolation, depression, and trauma where preparing for the psychological impact crisis of COVID-19 is critical. With the double pandemic of racism and COVID-19. Dr. Powell unpacks the invisible wounds of trauma and racism exposures to the body, minds, and spirits of children. Creating Healing-Centered approaches can help boys discover that they are much more than the sum total of trauma(s). Dr. Powell describes ways to create healing-centered strategies for boys and men of color.

#SpeakToTheWounds #HoldingSpace4BMOC