Racial Diversity, Equity, and inclusion in Science education logo

LabXchange is committed to creating equitable opportunities for success in science. This project seeks to guide learners and empower educators through the creation of new content that demonstrates how to apply critical thinking skills to identify and transform the structures that sustain racial inequity in healthcare, education, and STEM fields in the US.

Racism permeates all parts of American society.

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Black women are 3 to 4 times more likely to die of pregnancy-related complications than white women.

(CDC, 2017)
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Black STEM college majors are more likely to leave STEM than their white peers, either by switching fields (36% vs. 28%) or by leaving college without a degree (29% vs. 20%). This pattern has essentially remained for 30 years.

(Chen and Soldner 2013; Asai, 2020)
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In 2018, Black residents were 12.3% of the US population, but only 8.4% of bachelor’s graduates, 8.3% of master’s graduates, and 5.5% of doctoral graduates.

(NSF/NCSES, 2018)

Let’s commit to ending and rectifying racial inequity.

These interdisciplinary learning materials review the history of racism in science and examine the structures that prevent racialized groups, specifically Black Americans, from having equal access to opportunities in healthcare, education, and STEM fields.

We invite you to join us on our mission of removing barriers to success in science by
integrating this content in your classrooms, programs, and communities, from including it on resource listings to incorporating it into a syllabus or other learning sequences.

Learning clusters

In collaboration with leading scholars and experts, we have developed two new clusters of learning pathways to raise awareness of racism. For learners, we created engaging materials that speak to recognizing and rectifying systemic racism. For educators, we developed high-quality curricular materials and evidence-based antiracist and inclusive teaching tools to use in the classroom.

The hand of a black person connected to a drip.

Racism as a Public Health Crisis

This cluster explores why and how racism is considered a public health crisis in the US. It also teaches foundational concepts needed to build critical thinking skills for understanding and rectifying structural racism. Topics include explorations into the historical formations of race, as well as the role of science, medicine, and health. It also contains case studies of various health disparities.

A Black teenager in a science class, smiling at the camera.

Advancing Equity in STEM Through Inclusive Teaching

Across STEM fields, the legacy of racism can be seen in the disproportionate underrepresentation of racialized groups such as Black Americans. To increase equity in science and diverse leadership in science, science teachers must be equipped with inclusive teaching strategies. This cluster contains evidence-based practices to help educators increase Black students’ sense of belonging, identity, and success in science.

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Faculty steering committee

An interdisciplinary team of top experts leads the project.

Dr. Bita Amani

Dr. Bita Amani

Associate Professor, Department of Urban Public Health, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
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Dr. Bita Amani

Dr. Bita Amani

Associate Professor, Department of Urban Public Health at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science; Co-Director, CDU Black Maternal Health Center of Excellence; Co-Chair, UCLA/CDU COVID-19 Racism and Equity Task Force at UCLA Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice and Health. She is a social epidemiologist whose teaching, research, and practice focus on the synergies and tensions between community health, racism, politics, and power.

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Dr. Frinny Polanco Walters

Dr. Frinny Polanco Walters

Faculty Assistant Director, Harvard Medical School Office for Diversity Inclusion and Community Partnership
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Dr. Frinny Polanco Walters

Dr. Frinny Polanco Walters

Faculty Assistant Director, Harvard Medical School Office for Diversity Inclusion and Community Partnership. Her interests include advocating for policies that support greater access to quality health services for racial/ethnic minorities, as well as adolescents, especially those with intellectual disabilities and those impacted by sexual violence.

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Dr. Ivory A. Toldson

Dr. Ivory A. Toldson

Professor of Counseling Psychology, Department of Human Development and Psychoeducational Studies, Howard University
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Dr. Ivory A. Toldson

Dr. Ivory A. Toldson

Professor of Counseling Psychology, Department of Human Development and Psychoeducational Studies, Howard University; President of Quality Education for Minorities; Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Negro Education; Executive Editor of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Research, published by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. Previously, Dr. Toldson served President Barack Obama's administration as the executive director for the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

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Dr. Jamiella Brooks

Dr. Jamiella Brooks

Director, Student Equity & Inclusion Initiatives, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School
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Dr. Jamiella Brooks

Dr. Jamiella Brooks

Associate Director, Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), University of Pennsylvania; former Founding Director of the Teaching Assistant Program at Berea College. Her primary work at CTL focuses on programming and support for equitable and inclusive teaching practices. Her current major project traces and historicizes pedagogical practices of colonial education that persist in present-day teaching practices. This analysis of anti-colonial practices extends to work exploring linguistic equity in the classroom, especially for African-American Language (AAL), and theorizing decoloniality in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. She has an article in the 2020 second edition of Presumed Incompetent: Race, Class, Power, and Resistance of Women in Academia.

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Dr. Joseph L. Graves, Jr.

Professor of Biological Sciences, Department of Biology, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
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Dr. Joseph L. Graves, Jr.

Dr. Joseph L. Graves, Jr.

Professor of Biological Sciences, Department of Biology, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University; Science Advisor to the Chicago and New Brunswick Theological Seminaries, and the Methodist Theological Seminary of Ohio, through the AAAS Dialogues of Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER) program. His research involves the genomics of adaptation and he is the author of several books on nanomaterials, and the biology of race.

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Dr. Julia F. Hastings

Associate Professor, School of Public Health and Social Welfare, University at Albany
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Dr. Julia F. Hastings

Dr. Julia F. Hastings

Associate Professor, Schools of Public Health and Social Welfare, University at Albany, SUNY. Her research covers three thematic areas: physical and mental health disparities, welfare participation, and poverty. She is also Faculty Associate of the Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities; 2019 Public Health Social Worker of the Year, PHSW Section of the American Public Health Association; NYS Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Advisory Board Member; Black Child Development Institute Board Member.

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Dr. Robert T. Palmer

Department Chair and Professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Howard University
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Dr. Robert T. Palmer

Dr. Robert T. Palmer

Department Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Howard University, author of more than 130 refereed journal articles, book chapters, and other academic publications. His research examines issues of access, equity, retention, persistence, and the college experience of racial and ethnic minorities, particularly within the context of historically Black colleges and universities.

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Research and content development consultants

Postgraduate scholars from across the US provide expert guidance on learning materials and teaching resources.

Udodiri R. Okwandu

Udodiri R. Okwandu

Harvard University
Tina Lasisi

Tina Lasisi

University of Michigan

Project and content development fellows

A team of postgraduate scholars from across the US research and author the learning materials and teaching guides.

Aundrea B. Collins

Aundrea B. Collins

Morgan State University
Brianna Holiday

Brianna Holiday

Morehouse School of Medicine
Bridgette Bell

Bridgette Bell

Jackson State University
Brittney Venter

Brittney Venter

Howard University
Da'Cheray D. Thomas-Ruth

Da'Cheray D. Thomas-Ruth

Hampton University
Dr. Duane J. Wallace II

Dr. Duane J. Wallace II

Morgan State University
Dr. Ebony N. Russ

Dr. Ebony N. Russ

Howard University
Gabrielle McFadden-Vincent

Gabrielle McFadden-Vincent

Howard University
Ginger Jeffery

Ginger Jeffery

Jackson State University
Isis Dwyer

Isis Dwyer

University of Florida
Jada J. Ledbetter

Jada J. Ledbetter

Morgan State University
Dr. Jamal Z. Bankhead

Dr. Jamal Z. Bankhead

Morgan State University
Jerome Bronson

Jerome Bronson

Jackson State University
Jordan Honeyblue

Jordan Honeyblue

University of Kentucky
Juanita Crumbly-Franklin

Juanita Crumbly-Franklin

Tennessee State University
Dr. Lekeah A. Durden

Dr. Lekeah A. Durden

Indiana University Bloomington
Mia Thornton

Mia Thornton

Howard University
Owen C. Dorsey

Owen C. Dorsey

Texas A&M University
Shanita Jackson

Shanita Jackson

University of Kentucky
Taylor Spencer

Taylor Spencer

University of Michigan
Udodiri R. Okwandu

Udodiri R. Okwandu

Harvard University
Veronica Wylie

Veronica Wylie

Jackson State University