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First Anti-Racism Faculty Fellowships Announced


First Anti-Racism Faculty Fellowships Announced

Five proposals have been selected for the inaugural OHSU-PSU School of Public Health (SPH) Anti-Racism Faculty Fellowships, funding faculty-led efforts that align with the School’s Anti-Racism Initiative, focus on advancing social justice, and support institutional change.

“The Faculty Fellowship program is one of several ways in which we can advance public health with our antiracism initiative,” noted Dr. David Bangsberg, Dean. “By providing these resources we will enable faculty to develop, implement, and extend antiracism efforts within the school of public health and beyond, with their scholarship, pedagogy, and service.”

With funding from the School of Public Health’s Philanthropic Advisory Board, SPH plans to award up to $500,000 over three years beginning July 1, 2021 as part of the school’s antiracism initiative. These awards are intended to support faculty efforts to advance antiracism, decolonizing, and social justice through research, teaching, and service. Specifically, this funding will provide support for faculty seeking to develop and implement projects that will concretely advance antiracism as it relates to the School’s mission.

“Advancing social justice and anti-racism at SPH must be led, in large part, by our faculty. But often that burden has fallen to those faculty who themselves are from currently and historically marginalized and oppressed groups,” said Dr. Dawn Richardson, Associate Dean for Social Justice.  “Because of this inequity in labor, our institution must re-distribute resources to concretely support the social justice efforts of those from the most impacted communities. We are confident that these new fellowship awards, which will financially support tangible and impactful faculty-led ideas and efforts, are a major step towards achieving institutional change at SPH.”

The five inaugural Anti-Racism Faculty Fellowships include the following:

Expanding Equity and Inclusion: Asian-American & Pacific Islander Studies at Portland State University

More than 13% of PSU students identify as AAPI. Yet, they remain grossly underserved in terms of curricula, including the absence of AAPI Studies within the School of Gender, Race, and Nations. This proposal will address this gap in culturally responsive, anti-racist pedagogy for AAPI students through course development, strategic planning to establishing AAPI Studies, and programming that highlights AAPI perspectives.

The project is led by faculty, staff, and students from across campus (Dr. Betty Izumi, School of Public Health; Dr. Marie Lo, Department of English; Dr. Sri Craven, Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Dr. Kai Hang Cheang, Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Dr. Alma Trinidad, School of Social Work; Dr. Lisa Weasel, Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Bree Kalima, PIAAA Student Center; and students Motutama Sipelii, Ava Kupperman), along with Duncan Hwang, representing APANO (Asian Pacific Network of Oregon), the state’s leading AAPI grassroots advocacy organization.

Imagining a Healthy and Equitable Future for Childbirth: A Novel Public Health Framework

US childbirth outcomes are poor by international standards and marred by persistent racial/ ethnic inequity. This proposal asks whether the established public health research tools and frameworks that we use in studying birthing health could be part of the problem. What could childbirth research look like if time and space were devoted to defining and implementing justice-centered processes and values? In this project, Dr. Jonathan Snowden and Dr. Melissa Cheney , his Oregon State University collaborator, explore the intersections between imagination, data science and ethnography to re-envision an alternate way of being, doing and disseminating birth justice research.

Funding Ongoing Service in Gender Minority Health by a Transgender Faculty

Dr. Alexis Dinno has been organizing, leading and supporting community-centered and participatory work to justly and accurately represent gender minorities in the clinic and in research. Her collaborators have included local and state health departments, medical professional associations, and gender minority advocacy groups. This proposal further funds her outreach and work on behalf of gender minority health, including a collaboration with the National Hemophilia Foundation to prioritize research in service of gender minority access and quality of care in the blood disorders community and an ongoing collaboration with the Oregon Health Authority and their work to standardize measures of sexual orientation.

Incorporating Data Equity into Biostatistics Curriculum

Data equity refers to the consideration, through an equity lens, of the ways in which data are collected, analyzed, interpreted, and distributed. It is a practice needed for all public health researchers and practitioners. Given that biostatistics plays an important role in virtually every step of the “data life cycle,” teaching these concepts to students is a critical component for an antiracist and inclusive biostatistics curriculum. Seven School of Public Health faculty members (Dr. Rochelle Fu, Dr. Byung Park, Dr. Thuan Nguyen, Dr. Janne Boone-Heinonen, Dr. Jodi Lapidus, and Amber Lin) will work to address these gaps, with a goal to identify and organize data equity training materials for Biostatistics (possibly all SPH) faculty; develop a one-credit inter-professional experience course on data equity for Biostatistics and other SPH students; and review and strengthen the overall Biostatistics curriculum on data equity.

The People’s Social Epi Project: P S E P PDX

Drawing from critical race, decolonizing, and Black feminist theory literatures, this proposal is a portfolio of three projects developed to “center the margins” and co-create counternarratives to traditional health equity research processes that enact epistemic oppression and erasure. The projects, developed by Dr. Ryan Petteway, represent a mix of YPAR, visual art, music, and poetry—all as embodied expression of racial health equity knowledge.

The three projects include the yHEART Decolonizing Data Hub (yHEART), an ongoing program in collaboration with Self Enhancement Inc (SEI) in which a cohort of 10 youth researchers will be trained to lay the groundwork for a decolonizing data hub. The second project, the Public Health MixTape Project, will build upon Petteway’s ongoing work to explore more inclusive pedagogies for learning about/analyzing population health inequities within public health classrooms. The final project, the Public Health Poetry project will, in collaboration with SEI, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon, and Word is Bond, build upon Petteway’s pathbreaking and award-winning work at the intersections of poetry and public health. The project will include a series of youth poetry competitions related, broadly, to health equity and community health.

The Anti-Racism Faculty Fellowship Selection Process

The request for proposals for the Faculty Fellowships was released in December 2020 with a deadline of mid-March. The School received nine applications across three funding tiers for review. Thirty-five faculty, staff, students, and community members from across PSU, OHSU, the School of Public Health, and community stakeholders engaged in a 3-week application review process, with approximately seven reviewers provided per application. Assessment rubrics and scoring spreadsheets were developed and finalized with support and guidance from volunteers with evaluation expertise. After considering scores and review comments, five applications were selected for funding.

“We are grateful for the engagement, enthusiasm, and collective energy of these reviewers, who were all volunteers,’ said Richardson. “Without them this process would not have been possible.”