I’m pleased to introduce you to the Urban Institute’s first cohort of Equity Scholars—a diverse group of emerging and established researchers interested in diverse social policy issues, trained in different disciplines, but united in a commitment to deepening society’s understanding of racism and discrimination and informing the pursuit of equity and justice.
Selected from more than 200 applicants, these 8 scholars will be embedded in Urban’s policy centers and partner with Urban’s soon-to-be-launched Office of Race and Equity Research and our Racial Equity Analytics Lab.
Most of our Equity Scholars will join Urban in a full-time capacity on January 10, 2022; two are here already. Over two years, they will develop and publish research in areas of specific interest to them while joining other ongoing Urban projects, offer evidence-informed solutions to advance racial equity, and share their insights with decisionmakers across the country.
I’m looking forward to how the Equity Scholars’ expertise and lived experience will strengthen not only Urban’s work but our workplace, too. The program draws upon best practices in cohort, or cluster, hiring and is just one effort of many under our approximately $7 million internal investment to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion and drive long-term change within our organization.
Below are the 2022–24 Urban Institute Equity Scholars (see full bios at link) and the policy centers in which they will work:
- Shauna Cooper, associate professor and director of diversity initiatives in the department of psychology and neuroscience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center)
- Dawn Dow, associate professor in the department of sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park (Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population)
- John Eason, associate professor in the department of sociology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison (Justice Policy Center)
- Karishma Furtado, data and research catalyst and founding staff member at Forward Through Ferguson (Center on Education Data and Policy and Health Policy Center)
- Luisa Godinez-Puig, a doctoral student in political science at Boston University, expected to graduate in the fall (Tax Policy Center and Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population)
- Diana Guelespe, who has a doctorate and more than 20 years of experience working with immigrant and refugee communities at the local, state, and national levels (Income and Benefits Policy Center)
- Michael Neal, senior research associate in Urban’s Housing Finance Policy Center (Housing Finance Policy Center and Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population)
- Brian Smedley, chief of psychology in the public interest at the American Psychological Association (Health Policy Center)
If you have any questions or want to learn more about the program, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. I welcome your ideas.