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This is a page with resources for promoting anti-racism and supporting diversity and inclusion in Health Informatics. On this guide, there are five sections, each with a selection of resources and a link to a larger list: Articles & Web Resources, Books, Podcasts, Organizations, and Support at Northeastern.
The resources listed here are not comprehensive, and they inevitably reflect the biases of the various creators. They are intended to provide guidance to a wide variety of resources within Health Informatics. This page is by no means exhaustive and will be continuously updated. Please reach out to Luesoni Kuck at email@example.com or use this form to provide feedback and suggestions.
For more anti-racism resources in STEM fields, please check out our Diversity and Anti-Racism in STEM page.
For more anti-racism resources and ways to get involved at Northeastern and beyond, please check out our Anti-Racism guide.
Articles & Web Resources
Below are a selection of articles and web resources related to anti-racism and supporting diversity in STEM. It is not meant to be comprehensive. For more research articles, try searching within the library's databases related to your discipline. You can also try some of the suggested databases on the Anti-Racism Guide.
On Racism: A New Standard For Publishing On Racial Health Inequities
An article written by Rhea W. Boyd, Edwin G. Lindo, Lachelle D. Weeks and Monica R. McLemore published in Health Affairs on July 2, 2020.
Naming Institutionalized Racism in the Public Health Literature: A Systematic Literature Review
An article written by Rachel R. Hardeman, Katy A. Murphy, J’Mag Karbeah, and Katy Backes Kozhimannil published in Public Health Reports on April 3, 2018.
10 simple rules for building an antiracist lab
An article written by Dr. V. Bala Chaudhary and Dr. Asmeret Asefaw Berhe published in PLoS Computational Biology in October 2020.
A comprehensive list of resources for many audiences from #ShutDownSTEM, an initiative from a multi-identity, intersectional coalition of STEM professionals and academics taking action for Black lives.
A Progressive's Style Guide
This resource was created by Hanna Thomas and Anna Hirsch in 2016 and covers language in areas such as age, disability, environment and science, health, and more.
1000 Inspiring Black Scientists in America
A list published in Cell Mentor in December 2020. Two previous lists of 100 Inspiring Black Scientists in America were published by Dr. Antentor O. Hinton Jr. in Cell Mentor in February 2020
and June 2020
This is what a scientist looks like
Profiles on 12 scientists from Harvard who were a part of a project called I am a Scientist
. The I am a Scientist
project aims to bring the stories and science of real world researchers to classrooms. There is a resources
page with toolkits, downloadable materials, and more.
500 Queer Scientists
A visibility campaign for LGBTQ+ people and their allies working in STEM and STEM-supporting jobs. Working to ensure the next STEM generation has LGBTQ+ role models; help the current generation recognize they’re not alone; create opportunities for community connections and greater visibility within STEM. Their stories are searchable
Racial Equity Resources: How to Start the Conversation in your Community from Living Room Conversations
A series of resources to help facilitate conversations about race. The page includes conversation guides, educational resources, and recommended readings.
Racism in Medicine and Healthcare
A guide to anti-racist resources at UNLV and beyond to promote racial and ethnic equity in medicine and healthcare
500 Women Scientists
The mission of 500 Women Scientists is to serve society by making science open, inclusive, and accessible and transform society by fighting racism, patriarchy, and oppressive societal norms. Gage
is a resource for journalists, educators, policy makers and others seeking the expertise of women and gender minorities STEMM professionals.
Timeline of Scientific Racism
This timeline gives an overview of scientific racism throughout the world, placing the Eugenics Record Office within a broader historical framework extending from Enlightenment-Era Europe to present-day social thought.
Racial Bias in Scientific Fields
A list of resources that highlights racial bias in the scientific fields.
Below are a selection of podcast episodes, series, and seasons relevant to racism in STEM. This is not a comprehensive list. For more resources, please visit our Anti-Racism Research Subject Guide.
Institutes and Organizations at Northeastern
For other groups and support at Northeastern, please click here to view the Support page on our Anti-Racism Guide.
Institute of Health, Equity, and Social Justice (IHESJR)
Disparities in health and mental health arise and persist as the result of complex individual, societal, and global factors. IHESJR bring together faculty and students from across Northeastern University, along with external research partners, to tackle these complex challenges. IHESJR's teams draw upon a wide range of research methods and interventions, but share a common commitment to promoting health equity and social justice through high-impact, community engaged research.
Northeastern Resource and Cultural Centers:
Student Groups and Organizations:
Below are a selection of books relevant to racism in STEM. This is not a comprehensive list. For more books, search Scholar OneSearch or visit our Anti-Racism Research Subject Guide.
Algorithms of Oppression by A revealing look at how negative biases against women of color are embedded in search engine results and algorithms Run a Google search for "black girls"--what will you find? "Big Booty" and other sexually explicit terms are likely to come up as top search terms. But, if you type in "white girls," the results are radically different. The suggested porn sites and un-moderated discussions about "why black women are so sassy" or "why black women are so angry" presents a disturbing portrait of black womanhood in modern society. In Algorithms of Oppression, Safiya Umoja Noble challenges the idea that search engines like Google offer an equal playing field for all forms of ideas, identities, and activities. Data discrimination is a real social problem; Noble argues that the combination of private interests in promoting certain sites, along with the monopoly status of a relatively small number of Internet search engines, leads to a biased set of search algorithms that privilege whiteness and discriminate against people of color, specifically women of color. Through an analysis of textual and media searches as well as extensive research on paid online advertising, Noble exposes a culture of racism and sexism in the way discoverability is created online. As search engines and their related companies grow in importance--operating as a source for email, a major vehicle for primary and secondary school learning, and beyond--understanding and reversing these disquieting trends and discriminatory practices is of utmost importance. An original, surprising and, at times, disturbing account of bias on the internet, Algorithms of Oppression contributes to our understanding of how racism is created, maintained, and disseminated in the 21st century.
Publication Date: 2018-02-20
Handbook of Asian American Health by Asian Americans encounter a range of health issues often unknown to the American public, policy makers, researchers and even clinicians. National research often combines Asian Americans into a single category, not taking into account the differences and complexity among Asian ethnic subgroups. The definition of Asian American derives from the U.S. Census Bureau's definition of Asian, which includes peoples from all the vast territories of the Far East, Southeast Asia and the South Asian Subcontinent. While Census classifications determine demographic measurements that affect equal opportunity programs, the broad rubric "Asian-American" can never describe accurately the more than 50 distinct Asian American subgroups, who together comprise multifaceted diversity across cultural ethnicities, socio-economic status, languages, religions and generations. This volume rectifies that situation by exploring the unique needs and health concerns of particular subgroups within the Asian American community. It consolidates a wide range of knowledge on various health issues impacting Asian Americans while also providing a discussion into the cultural, social, and structural forces impacting morbidity, mortality and quality of life. The volume is designed to advance the understanding of Asian American health by explaining key challenges and identifying emerging trends faced in specific ethnic groups and diseases/illnesses, innovative community-based interventions and the future needed areas of research.
Publication Date: 2012-10-11
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells--taken without her knowledge--became one of the most important tools in medicine: The first "immortal" human cells grown in culture, which are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb's effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave. Henrietta's family did not learn of her "immortality" until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits. As Rebecca Skloot so brilliantly shows, the story of the Lacks family--past and present--is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of. Over the decade it took to uncover this story, Rebecca became enmeshed in the lives of the Lacks family--especially Henrietta's daughter Deborah. Deborah was consumed with questions: Had scientists cloned her mother? Had they killed her to harvest her cells? And if her mother was so important to medicine, why couldn't her children afford health insurance? Intimate in feeling, astonishing in scope, and impossible to put down The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks captures the beauty and drama of scientific discovery, as well as its human consequences.
Publication Date: 2010
Just Medicine by Over 84,000 black and brown lives are needlessly lost each year due to health disparities, the unfair, unjust, and avoidable differences between the quality and quantity of health care provided to Americans who are members of racial and ethnic minorities and care provided to whites. Health disparities have remained stubbornly entrenched in the American health care system-and inJust Medicine, Dayna Bowen Matthew finds that they principally arise from unconscious racial and ethnic biases held by physicians, institutional providers, and their patients.
Publication Date: 2015
Medical Apartheid by From the era of slavery to the present day, the first full history of black Americans shocking mistreatment as unwilling and unwitting experimental subjects at the hands of the medical establishment. Medical Apartheid is the first and only comprehensive history of medical experimentation on African Americans. Starting with the earliest encounters between black Americans and Western medical researchers and the racist pseudoscience that resulted, it details the ways both slaves and freedmen were used in hospitals for experiments conducted without their knowledge--a tradition that continues today within some black populations. It reveals how blacks have historically been prey to grave-robbing as well as unauthorized autopsies and dissections. Moving into the twentieth century, it shows how the pseudoscience of eugenics and social Darwinism was used to justify experimental exploitation and shoddy medical treatment of blacks, and the view that they were biologically inferior, oversexed, and unfit for adult responsibilities. Shocking new details about the government's notorious Tuskegee experiment are revealed, as are similar, less-well-known medical atrocities conducted by the government, the armed forces, prisons, and private institutions. The product of years of prodigious research into medical journals and experimental reports long undisturbed, Medical Apartheid reveals the hidden underbelly of scientific research and makes possible, for the first time, an understanding of the roots of the African American health deficit. At last, it provides the fullest possible context for comprehending the behavioral fallout that has caused black Americans to view researchers--and indeed the whole medical establishment--with such deep distrust. No one concerned with issues of public health and racial justice can afford not to read Medical Apartheid, a masterful book that will stir up both controversy and long-needed debate.
Publication Date: 2007-01-09
Below are a selection of organizations to support students, researchers, and faculty in STEM as well as groups dedicated to social justice and anti-racist efforts. This is not a comprehensive list. To find many more organizations, click here.
White Coats for Black Lives
A medical student-run organization that aims to foster dialogue on racism as a public health concern and to promote medical students’ involvement in local and national movements to end racism and police brutality. It seeks to end racial discrimination in medical care and prepare future physicians to be advocates for racial justice.
Algorithmic Justice League
Mission is to raise awareness about the impacts of AI, equip advocates with empirical research, build the voice and choice of the most impacted communities, and galvanize researchers, policy makers, and industry practitioners to mitigate AI harms and biases. Building a movement to shift the AI ecosystem towards equitable and accountable AI.
Reading, listening, and supporting the STEM-related organizations and initiatives included on this page are a great start.
Want to do more? Check out this page for other ways you can fight racism, including voting, volunteering, keeping up with the conversation, attending campus events, plus training and organizations beyond STEM that you can get involved with.