Data, Action, Policy: The Pandemic’s Impact on Black Communities

Join us to discuss and call for data needs & action related to Covid-19 in Black Communities, learn about emerging research on the social determinants of health & the pandemic, & get access to toolkits & resources to support advocacy efforts and grant applications. Register for the workshop at:


Keynote Talk by Jamelle Watson-Daniels, Harvard University

Panel on Translating Data to Action & Policy with:

Facilitation by Malaika Simmons, National Associations Alliance Against Disparities in Patient Health.

US Covid Atlas Data Mini-Workshop with staff from the Healthy Regions & Policies Lab:

Speaker Biographies

Keynote Speaker

Jamelle Watson-Daniels is a PhD Candidate at Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. She is a Ford Foundation Pre-doctoral Fellow and NSF Graduate Research Fellow. Jamelle has experiences at the nexus of racial justice and data science for instance she previously served as Director of Research at Data for Black Lives. Before pursuing her PhD, Watson-Daniels received a combined degree in Physics and Africana Studies from Brown University. Her broad campus leadership was recognized when she was chosen to deliver the 2016 Brown commencement address and received the Joslin Student Leadership Award as well as the Mildred Widgoff Award for excellence in physics thesis. Jamelle’s ongoing research focuses on developing fair and trustworthy machine learning methods. She also supports work on data literacy, data storytelling and data science promoting social policy innovation.

Panel Moderator

Malaika Simmons, MSHE Chief Operating Officer, National Alliance against Disparities in Patient Health. Malaika is the Chief Operating Officer for the National Alliance against Disparities in Patient Health (NADPH), a data-driven, nonprofit health research organization. She uses her background in research, psychology, and design thinking to promote empathy-based leadership with over 20 years of experience in corporate policy, training, and program management, operating at the convergence of health research, IT, and consumer issues. She currently serves as the NADPH Program Manager for the Infrastructure Core of the AIM-AHEAD Program sponsored by NIH, and leads qualitative research for several projects aimed at centering patient or community voices in health and technology-related initiatives. Malaika has a strong commitment to improving the health of underserved populations and more broadly supports these efforts through her organization Momentology Media. Through Momentology, Malaika fulfills her passion for the elimination of economic and health disparities in minority communities by using her proprietary framework to empower women to own businesses, champion health causes and enter the corporate and political landscapes to affect change in their corner of the world.


Dr. Imelda K. Moise, Associate Professor of Geography at University of Miami. Dr. Moise is a broadly trained health geographer, founder of DataChores and the Geography and Inequalities Lab. She has dedicated her career to culturally responsive research and evaluation to advance health equity, and linking research to programs, policy, and practice in the US and sub-Saharan Africa. She works full-time in global public health as an Associate Professor and as Director of Global Health Studies at the University of Miami where she engages in scholarship of teaching and learning research to determine how to best prepare the next generation of geographers and global public health professionals. Her methodological expertise lies in utilizing mixed methods study designs with geospatial analysis to examine the combined effect of individual, sociocultural and contextual factors linked with health inequities. She has coordinated and evaluated various multi-partner systems-level interventions and is PI on projects working on strengthening early learning support in Miami; NIH greenness cardiovascular studies assessing disparities across Hispanic subgroups in Miami vs. San Diego and NYC. Her primary research is mostly responsive to community needs. Dr. Moise serves on the National Association of City Health Officials (NACCHO), Miami-Dade Refugee Task Force, and the Healthy Baby Taskforce (part of the Consortium for a Healthier Miami-Dade) where she lends her expertise in health, geography and equity-centered impact. She earned her MSc. and PhD from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, MPH from the University of Illinois Springfield, and bachelor’s from the University of Oregon. Prior to her current position, she backstopped Illinois Department of Public Health and USAID-funded programs in LMIC where she led in many areas of system strengthening, maternal and child health, substance use and HIV sentinel surveillance, and country performance management plans.

Dr. Lawrence Brown, Research Scientist with the Center for Urban Health Equity at Morgan State University. Lawrence T. Brown is an equity scientist, urban Afrofuturist, and the director of the Black Butterfly Academy, a racial equity education and consulting firm. From 2013-2019, he served as an assistant and associate professor at Morgan State University in the School of Community Health and Policy. In June 2018, he was honored by OSI Baltimore with the Bold Thinker award for sparking critical discourse regarding Baltimore’s racial segregation. /n His first book The Black Butterfly: The Harmful Politics of Race and Space in America was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in January 2021. For the past two years, Dr. Brown has also worked as a research scientist in the Center for Urban Health Equity at Morgan State University.

Amena Karim, Award-winning Champion for Health EquityAmena Karim has spent her career serving marginalized communities for more than 20 years. She is a multi-award-winning health equity advocate, keynote speaker, and mayoral-appointed community commissioner. Amena is a leader at Unite Us, the nation’s leading software company bringing sectors together to improve the health and well-being of communities. She is the founder of Feeding South Shore and Feeding Chicago Families, raising more than $400,000 to address social determinants of health barriers, such as food insecurity in marginalized communities across Chicago. She graduated with a master’s degree from Northwestern University. Amena is pursuing a Master of Public Health (MPH) at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.

About the Organizers

Healthy Regions & Policies Lab leads the US Covid Atlas, a free visualization tool, report builder, & community toolkit that connects COVID case data and community indicators across the United States from its beginning. The Atlas helps you access county-level data on COVID and the social determinants of health, use spatial analysis, and share stories to better understand the spread in communities and to bolster planning efforts. The Atlas is in part funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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