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Epidemiology Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Anti-Racism and Science (Epi IDEAS)


Current Epi IDEAS Initiatives 

  • Understanding the impact of application fees and funds required for travel by prospective and admitted students and resolutions to these systematic barriers to access
  • Development of a series of short training videos on the use of appropriate pronouns
  • Review departmental course syllabi for appropriate and inclusive language, and develop a “syllabus checklist” for faculty (and those reviewing syllabi) to guide the review 
  • Resume recruitment of students, faculty, and staff at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) when face-to-face recruitment events are re-established
  • Continue working toward the goals of the Anti-Racism Strategic Plan, with a particular focus on:
  • Evaluating the department’s masters and doctoral program admissions and admittance processes for optimal recruitment of underrepresented race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality minority trainees
  • Evaluating the department’s ability to retain underrepresented minority faculty and staff and identify structural changes to improve retention
  • Continue our established services to the department, including coordinating anti-bias training to faculty and staff annually, hosting Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) welcome and check-in events, facilitating the mentor and mentee matching program, social media campaigns to highlight departmental diversity, and hosting the Epi IDEAS Communication of Science Seminar Series twice a year

Past and Ongoing Initiatives

Student recruitment and welcome events (2016-present)

The Epi IDEAS Workgroup is described at all welcoming events for prospective and admitted students, including Student Visiting Days, Admitted Student Days, and Student Orientation. The evening before Admitted Students Day, Epi IDEAS Workgroup members host a specific event (D&I Welcome Event) to ensure students of diverse backgrounds are welcomed.  In November 2019, the EPI IDEAS Workgroup led the first Bloomberg School of Public Health recruitment and information session for prospective students at Howard University

Spring Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Check-in (2018-present)

Epi IDEAS Workgroup members host a spring D&I check-in with students to continue to provide support following the D&I Welcome Event 

Student mentor and mentee matched by self-identities (2019-present)

Through the Epidemiology Student Organization, the Epi IDEAS Workgroup members have a volunteer program that matches student mentors and mentees by self-identities

Day at the Market (2017-2020)

The Department supported a Community Engagement Liaison staff position to coordinate “Day at the Market” opportunities for students and faculty to join at Northeast and Lexington markets. These were Johns Hopkins-coordinated outreach and education sessions to reach community members about health topics Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Alumni Celebration (2018-present)

After graduation, the Epi IDEAS Workgroup hosts a picnic to celebrate current and former Workgroup members that have graduated

#EpidemiALLogy Social Media Campaign highlighting the diversity of students, faculty, and staff in the department (2018-2021)

Through the department’s Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram feeds, the Epi IDEAS Workgroup spotlights diverse members of the department highlighting their public health passion, accomplishments, and how they enjoy spending their time when not focused on public health. This initiative helps to bolster the department’s diversity and inclusion climate and ensures our climate is reflected to the potential students, faculty and staff we wish to recruit, and the public.

Anti-bias trainings (2018-to present)

The Epi IDEAS Workgroup advocated for an online or on-site bias training requirement for new faculty and students; this was implemented by departmental leadership. The Epidemiology Student Organization assists students with this requirement by providing on-site training at one of their meetings every fall. Additional workshops are coordinated by the Epi IDEAS Workgroup for students, staff, and faculty, such as the Workshop on Understanding and Responding to Microaggressions (2019-2020), Faculty Microtriggers Training (2019-2020), Migroaggressions: An Introduction for Students (2020-2021), and Factuality the Game (2020-2021). In August of 2020, Epi IDEAS Workgroup members partnered with the BSPH Student Outreach Resource Center (SOURCE) to train 11 facilitators to implement training on microaggressions, building capacity within the department to sustain these trainings.

Changes to the Epidemiology Research Methods course content (2017-2018)

In collaboration with the Curriculum Committee, the Epi IDEAS Workgroup member, Dr. Keri Althoff lead the change in content of the Epidemiology Research Methods (340.751-340.753) course series to include race, ethnicity, and gender as social constructs and the various measurement tools for these constructs. This course series is required for all departmental students and is taken by numerous students in other departments (annual enrollment ranges from 160-200 students), thereby equipping nearly all Hopkins public health graduate students to understand these topics. 

340.698 Methods for Assessing Power, Privilege, and Public Health in the United States (2017-present)

This course was developed and is taught by Epi IDEAS Workgroup member Dr. Lorraine Dean. This service-learning course – the only one in the department – engages with students to reflect on their own privilege as a scientist and integrate social epidemiology concepts with quantitative epidemiological skills and to a data-driven health project that is used by a community-based organization to guide their activities. It has won the highest teaching honor at the school (Golden Apple, 2018) as well as a national award (Delta Omega Innovative Public Health Curriculum Award, 2019).

Epi IDEAS Communication of Science Seminar Series (2017-present)

From listening sessions and town halls for students, faculty, and staff in November 2016, a theme emerged that students and faculty felt unprepared to explain and justify epidemiologic findings to the public, the media, and policy makers. In response, the Epi IDEAS Workgroup requested, and was granted, two epidemiology departmental seminar sessions per academic year devoted to improving these competencies. 

Changes to employee forms (2019-present)

In the fall of 2019 when the State of Maryland began printing gender (including a third gender option designated with an “X”) on driver’s licenses and state-issued identification cards, the Epi IDEAS Workgroup sent a memo to the Epidemiology Administrator asking for gender (not sex) to be included on employee information forms; the request was granted, and the departmental forms were changed. The Workgroup has made the same request of the Johns Hopkins University Human Resources and continues to advocate for this change to employee forms.

Measuring student perceptions of the Department’s diversity, inclusion, and equity climate (2017-present)

The Epi IDEAS group has sought feedback from students by including questions in the annual Epidemiology Student Organization’s survey of students since 2017.

Statement against racism (2020)

After the killing of George Floyd in the early summer of 2020, the Epi IDEAS Workgroup drafted a statement against racism and joined Dean Ellen MacKenzie in describing racism as a public health problem. The Epi IDEAS Workgroup wanted the voices in our department heard on this important topic. Departmental leadership and Epi IDEAS Workgroup members recorded themselves reading the statement and a video was produced (with the support of a departmental staff member) to convey our statement against racism.

The Anti-Racism Strategic Plan (2020-present)

Epi IDEAS Workgroup members held town hall listening sessions for faculty, students, and staff to discuss racism as a public health problem and identify ways in which we, as a department, can continue to create an anti-racism departmental climate and research environment. The Epi IDEAS Workgroup members organized the ideas into the department’s Anti-Racism Strategic Plan.