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Using Data for Justice: How Changemakers Can Center Racial Equity in COVID-19 Recovery

Join Sarah Rosen Wartell, president of the Urban Institute, for a special installment in Urban’s conversation series, Evidence to Action, to launch Urban’s Racial Equity Analytics Lab (REAL)

During this virtual event, Michael McAfee, president and CEO of PolicyLink, and Alonzo Plough, chief science officer and vice president of research-evaluation-learning at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, will join Wartell to discuss the power of disaggregated data to help changemakers lead an equitable response to the pandemic and economic crisis. Next, Shena Ashley, vice president for the Urban Institute’s Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy and cofounder of REAL, Kelly Jin, New York City’s chief analytics officer and director of the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics, and Candace Moore, Chicago’s chief equity officer, will join Wartell to discuss how leaders are using disaggregated data right now to target COVID-19 response to communities needing the most aid and how new tools at the intersection of data science and public policy can help create an equitable recovery.

The COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis has worsened long-standing racial health and economic inequities, and an uneven recovery could leave communities of color further behind. The Urban Institute’s Racial Equity Analytics Lab equips equity-focused changemakers with data and analyses to design and advance race-conscious policies that remedy structural racism and to hold governments and institutions accountable for choices that perpetuate oppressive systems.


  • Shena Ashley, Vice President for the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, Urban Institute @shenarashley
  • Kelly Jin, Chief Analytics Officer and Director of the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics, New York City @postkxj
  • Michael McAfee, President and CEO, PolicyLink @mikemcafee06
  • Candace Moore, Chief Equity Officer, City of Chicago @chicago
  • Alonzo Plough, Chief Science Officer and Vice President of Research-Evaluation-Learning, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation @alonzoplough
  • Sarah Rosen Wartell, President, Urban Institute (moderator) @swartell

Evidence to Action Series

The Evidence to Action conversation series elevates the voices of leaders and changemakers responding to, recovering from, and building resilience during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The Urban Institute was built for this moment. We answer tough questions with unbiased, rigorous research and evidence-based solutions. For 50 years, we have studied what it takes to strengthen social safety net programs, dismantle structural racism, protect workers and families, and build community resilience. Using advanced analytics, data science, technology, and decades of expertise, we equip changemakers with the facts and insights they need to accelerate solutions.

We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully. Please email [email protected] if you require any accommodations or have any questions about this event.


Date & Time Monday, January 25, 2021

  • President