By Rhonda V. Sharpe

Last August, I wrote, “Institutionalized exclusion is not just entrenched in the equitable access to quality education, employment, healthcare, housing, and a host of other goods and services, but is also rooted in how data are collected and reported.” When the headlines read “ In N.Y.C., the Coronavirus Is Killing Men at Twice the Rate of Women,” who are these men? Are they Asian? Black? Hispanic? If you wonder why it matters, read this week’s WISER-Op, “ Show Me The Data, But Disaggregate It First.

Earlier this year, I wrote about how disaggregating data can…


By Rhonda Vonshay Sharpe

Last week, Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Sen. Elizabeth Warren requested comprehensive demographic data on people tested and treated for COVID-19. The legislators cited racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes as the rationale for the request. But their request does not go far enough.

While all federally funded research should report data by race, it also needs to include gender, class, and other characteristics. It’s simply not enough to look at the numbers based on age or race or gender, we must look at the interactions of all of those factors at once.

For example, the…


By Nina E. Banks

Like many people in the first two weeks of March, I rushed out to grocery stores to get enough food, supplies, and medicines to supply my household–two teenage sons, two dogs, and myself–for several weeks. My food selections were based on nutritional value and durability, and I was able to purchase what I needed to stock my pantry. Since we began staying at home, my continual concern has been what to prepare for each meal and if we will have enough satisfying and interesting food to last through the long stretch of self-isolation.

But when the…


By Rachel Chou

Women’s history month is a reminder that we should ruminate on the legacies that women history makers have left for us. Their stories serve as inspiration, reminding us that change emerges out of struggle, the benefits of persistence and hard work, and how rising above from the social norm is the formula to any semblance of change. Here are seven inspiring documentaries and books about women of color that can be watched or read any time of the year.

  1. He Named Me Malala (Documentary) Inspiring women come in different shades, sizes, and ages. Malala Yousafzai is an…

By Rhonda Vonshay Sharpe

There was a time when hearing the phrase, “Black Girl Magic” made me beam with pride. Not anymore. The truth is there is nothing “magical” about what Black women accomplish.

Dr. Willene Johnson reminded attendees at the 2019 Inaugural Sadie T. M. Alexander Conference that before we were slaves, we were scientists, architects, doctors, teachers, etc. We came to this country with a set of knowledge and skills.

The vestiges of slavery have been hard to erase. Nina Banks notes that Black women are more likely to be employed in low-wage occupations than White women and…


By Tamara Y. Jeffries

When I welcome new students to my yoga classes, the first thing they want to know is what it’s going to do for them. “Will I lose weight?” “Will it end my depression?” “Will it fix my ADHD?” I tell them yoga can help many health conditions, but I’m careful about repeating pop-culture pseudo-science that suggests yoga is a cure-all. Before I tell my students something is going to ease their stress or help them slim down, I want to see the research.

You see, I teach at Bennett, a historically black college for women. Almost…


By Rhonda Vonshay Sharpe

As a researcher with interest in how women and girls find space in STEM environments, I have been thinking about how “Hidden Figures” and many daily and educational experiences might affect girls who are not math confident. Many parents — black parents in particular — will bring their daughters to the movies to inspire them about what is possible in STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. However, there can be a disconnect between what parents and daughters take away from the movie.

Spoiler alert for those who haven’t seen the movie yet: imagine taking your…

Women's Institute for Science, Equity and Race

WISER’s, a nonpartisan 501(c)3, mission is to expand women-focused policy research to include the well-being of Asian, Black, Hispanic, Native American women.

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