For Us, by Us: A Conversation about Racism, Discrimination and Bias in Higher Education


Past Event

For Us, by Us: A Conversation about Racism, Discrimination and Bias in Higher Education

June 15, 2021
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
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For Us, by Us: A Conversation about Racism, Discrimination and Bias in Higher Education

Let’s talk about this: Surviving and thriving in academia as Black, indigenous, and people of color.

In addition to navigating structural racism, discrimination, and bias in higher education, there are numerous and profound barriers to equity and advancing racial justice for underrepresented faculty. Dismantling decades of racist policies and practices and white supremacy is a huge undertaking beyond any one faculty member, made no easier with the addition of the “invisible labor” BIPOC faculty are, by default, often expected to conduct.

Where to start? How can BIPOC faculty achieve equity in higher education?


Scholars from the Social Intervention Group at the Columbia University School of Social Work’s HIV Intervention Science Training Program for Underrepresented New Investigators (HISTP) want to explore these challenges and more in a unique event addressing: 

  • What should BIPOC faculty look for in an institution to ensure they will be supported as BIPOC faculty rather than tokenism? Where and how can they get honest answers about the institution’s dynamics and culture? 
  • How can faculty of color avoid burnout -- common among BIPOC faculty due to many factors -- and what policies can institutions implement to aid in this hefty task? 
  • How can critical race theory scholars frame their work to effectively change systems and promote consciousness through new platforms, including social media?

Join highly esteemed HISTP scholars from six universities to engage in this discussion, moderated by two incredible faculty members including Associate Professors Dr. Elwin Wu of the Columbia University School of Social Work and Dr. Omar Martinez of the Temple University School of Social Work. A Q&A session will follow. 


  • Aimalohi Ahonkhai (bio), Assistant Professor, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Donaldson Conserve (bio), Associate Professor of Prevention and Community Health, Milken Institute School of Global Public Health, George Washington University
  • Jaih Craddock (bio), Assistant Professor, University of Maryland School of Social Work
  • Caroline Kingori (bio), Interim Associate Dean of Research and Associate Professor, Department of Social and Public Health College of Health Sciences and Professions, Ohio University
  • Peter Memiah (bio), Associate Professor, University of Maryland School of Medicine
  • E. Wairimu Mwangi (bio), Assistant Professor of Sociology, Trinity Washington University

Moderated by:

  • Omar Martinez (bio), Associate Professor of Social Work, Temple University College of Public Health
  • Elwin Wu (bio), Professor, Columbia School of Social Work; Co-Director, Social Intervention Group and HISTP


Co-Sponsored by HISTP and SIG


Director & Co-PI: Dr. Nabila El-Bassel
Co-Director and Co-PI: Dr. Elwin Wu

For over a decade, the HIV Intervention Science Training Program for Underrepresented New Investigators (HISTP) has strengthened universities, diversified HIV research, and elevated scholars of color across the country. HISTP provides three years of support to new faculty building research careers as tenure-track faculty, aiming to increase the number of highly trained multidisciplinary HIV scientists from groups underrepresented among NIH Principal Investigators. 

HISTP provides training, mentorship, and other research and professional development activities enabling scholars to conduct implementation research focused on the HIV continuum of care and the criminal justice system. HISTP is also seeking additional scholars for the next cohort. Learn more.

About SIG

The Social Intervention Group (SIG) was co-founded by Dr. Nabila El-Bassel within the Columbia University School of Social Work 30 years ago. SIG has served as a global leader in intervention, prevention, behavioral, and implementation research on communicable and non-communicable diseases. 

SIG conducts research and training in the United States and globally. SIG’s evidence-based interventions have been identified as best practices by the Center for Disease Control, and have been disseminated and adapted nationally and globally. Read more about SIG.


As part of the discussion of this event, we will sometimes use the #BlackInTheIvory tag. However we wanted to share an important note about this use.

Black in the Ivory was started by Dr. Shardé M. Davis, who "envisioned the idea for the hashtag, share her own stories of anti-Black racism during her years in academia as an undergraduate researcher, graduate student, and faculty person."

In sharing our discussion online, we have requested and received permission from Dr. Davis to utilize her transformative #BlackInTheIvory tag. We recognize the benefit from this use, and, accordingly, ask people to also visit her website including the section here Ways to Offer Compensation.

Follow @BlackintheIvory.