Ways of Knowing Symposia Kickoff

Thanks to those that joined us for an interactive, hybrid kickoff event featuring discussion among leadership from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Evidence for Action, Partners for Advancing Health Equity, and symposia co-organizers. 

Check Out the Recording

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Recording of the Ways of Knowing Symposia Kickoff, a hybrid event recorded on March 7th in New Orleans, LA.

Access the Illustrated Notes

Ways of Knowing Symposia Preview

Illustrated notes from the Ways of Knowing Symposia Overview

Art by Reilly Branson on behalf of Ink Factory

Transforming Community-Led Health Research

Illustrated notes from Transforming Community-Led Health Research

Art by Reilly Branson on behalf of Ink Factory

Indigenous Ways of Knowing

Illustrated Notes from the Indigenous Ways of Knowing Session

Art by Reilly Branson on behalf of Ink Factory

Challenging the Norm: Redefining Rigor in Health Research

Challenging the Norm: Redefining Rigor in Health Research

Art by Reilly Branson on behalf of Ink Factory

Speaker Biographies

Dr. Bert Chantarat, a smiling man with short, dark hair, wearing a blue collared shirt in front of a brick wall

Tongtan “Bert” Chantarat, Co-Organizer, Research Scientist, Institute for Social Research and Data Innovation at the University of Minnesota

Tongtan “Bert” Chantarat is a senior research scientist at the Institute for Social Research and Data Innovation at the University of Minnesota. His research leverages a systems-thinking framework and bridges approaches from health services research, social epidemiology, and decision science to understand and mitigate racial health inequities throughout the life course. He is currently a lead investigator in NIH-funded projects to elucidate how multidimensional structural racism drives racial health inequities in birth outcomes, cardiometabolic and cardiovascular diseases, and mental health. He is also partnering with a Minneapolis-and-St. Paul-based community organization in a project seeking to evaluate and prioritize evidence-based policy interventions to reduce police-involved homicides in racially minoritized communities. Dr. Chantarat received a PhD in Health Services Research, Policy, and Administration from the University of Minnesota and an MPH in Epidemiology from Columbia University.

Omar A. Dauhajre, Administrative Director of Partners for Advancing Health Equity

Omar A. Dauhajre, Administrative Director, Partners for Advancing Health Equity

Omar A. Dauhajre is the Administrative Director for Partners for Advancing Health Equity (P4HE Collaborative) at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. At P4HE he oversees administration, programming, partnerships, and membership. Prior to Tulane, he was Assistant Director at the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at NYU. He is originally from Puerto Rico and has two decades of professional experience in the nonprofit world, both academia and community-based organizations. He holds an MS in Mass Communication from Florida International University, and a BA in History of the Americas from the University of Puerto Rico. Omar is also a musician, a DJ, and a podcast producer.

Claire B. Gibbons, PhD, MPH

Claire B. Gibbons, PhD, MPH, Senior Program Officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Claire Gibbons, who joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2007, is a senior program officer dedicated to understanding and measuring key health and healthcare issues and analyzing programs that seek to improve the value of the nation’s healthcare and public health systems. She views the Foundation as a “unique organization dedicated to building a national Culture of Health, now and for generations to come.”

Claire has authored numerous papers and presented widely in the areas of healthcare quality, disparities, evaluation and research methods and approaches, child welfare services, substance abuse, child victimization, diabetes, and end of life care. She earned a PhD from the School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an MPH from the University of Rochester, New York, and two BA degrees, in Economics and in Health and Society, from the University of Rochester.

Dr. Melody Goodman, a Black woman with shoulder length brown hair wearing glasses, a blazer, and earrings

Melody Goodman, Co-Organizer, Senior Executive Vice Dean, NYU School of Global Public Health Professor of Biostatistics

Dr. Goodman is the Vice Dean for Research, Professor of Biostatistics, and Director of the Center for Anti-racism, Social Justice & Public Health at the New York University School of Global Public Health. She has over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and two books. She is a biostatistician and research methodologist. Her research interest is identifying the origins of health inequities and developing, as necessary, evidence-based primary prevention strategies to reduce these health inequities. She is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association (2021) and the inaugural recipient of the Societal Impact Award from the Caucus for Women in Statistics (2021).

Erin Hagan, deputy director of Evidence for Action

Erin Hagan, PhD, MBA, Deputy Director, E4A

Erin has worked across the non-profit, academic, and public sectors. Her experience spans social justice and health equity advocacy, public policy, business, and research. Prior to joining Evidence for Action, Dr. Hagan was the acting Director of Policy and Government Affairs for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. She also previously worked for PolicyLink – a national research and action institute advancing racial and economic equity. She has served as a Commissioner on the Alameda County Public Health Commission, and as co-chair of the Commission’s Health Equity in All Policies sub-committee. Erin received her PhD in Kinesiology from the University of Connecticut, her MBA from Seton Hall University, and her B.S. in Nutrition and Fitness from the University of Missouri. When not working, she can usually be found surfing near her home on the North Shore of Oahu, HI.

Dr. Charisse Iglesias, a woman with short, dark hair wearing glasses and a grey blazer with a peach colored top

Charisse Iglesias, Co-Organizer, Training and Resource Director, Community Campus Partnerships for Health

Dr. Charisse Iglesias, Training & Resource Director at Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH), has a PhD in rhetoric and composition with an emphasis on facilitating equitable community-academic partnerships. Her passion and expertise in facilitating community-academic partnerships stemmed from her experience as a Peace Corps volunteer co-creating educational programs, and directing a college-pathway writing program that partnered economically marginalized public high schools with a research university. At CCPH, Charisse leads teams to create, facilitate, and evaluate technical training workshops and resources for international and US-based community partners, researchers, and academics.

Dr. Thomas A. LaVeist, a smiling Black man in a suit and tie

Thomas A. LaVeist, Dean & Weatherhead Presidential Chair in Health Equity, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine

Thomas LaVeist is dean of the Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine and Principal Investigator for Partners for Advancing Health Equity. His career has been dedicated to understanding the causes of inequity in health and its potential solutions. He has an extensive record of publication in scientific journals as well as numerous mass media outlets and is director and executive producer of “The Skin You’re In,” a documentary series about racial inequalities in health. He is also author of six books including “Minority Population and Health: An introduction to health disparities in the United States” (the first textbook on health disparities). An award-winning research scientist, Dr. LaVeist has received the “Innovation Award” from National Institutes of Health, the “Knowledge Award” from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2013.

Dr. Amani Allen, a smiling Black woman with short hair, glasses, and earrings

Amani Nuru-Jeter, PhD, MPH, Director of Evidence for Action

Dr. Nuru-Jeter provides the overarching vision and direction for E4A and its administration, sets program priorities, and participates in reviews of applications to recommend for funding. She is Professor of Community Health Sciences and Epidemiology at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health, where her research focuses on race and socioeconomic health disparities and the measurement and study of racism as a social determinant of health. 

Alonzo Plough, a smiling Black man with short white and gray hair wearing a jacket and collared shirt

Alonzo Plough, Chief Science Officer and Vice President of Research-Evaluation-Learning, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Alonzo Plough joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as chief science officer and vice president, Research-Evaluation-Learning in January 2014. He is responsible for aligning all of the Foundation’s work with best evidence from research and practice and incorporating program evaluations into organizational learning. Plough has been a national leader in public health practice for over 25 years. He earned his PhD and MA at Cornell University, and his MPH at Yale University School of Medicine’s Department of Epidemiology and Public Health. He is currently clinical professor of health services at the University of Washington School of Public Health in Seattle. 

Melissa Walls

Melissa Walls, Co-Organizer, Co-Director of the Center for Indigenous Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Melissa Walls, PhD (Anishinaabe), is a Bloomberg Associate Professor of American Health in the Department of International Health at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and Co-Director of the JHU Center for Indigenous Health. She strives to work in authentic collaborative relationships with Indigenous communities to advance health equity in culturally safe ways. She has engaged in Indigenous health research partnerships for over 20 years on topics including mental health epidemiology, substance use prevention and mental health promotion, and understanding strength and thriving in the face of ongoing assaults related to colonization.

Joy Williams, a Black-presenting woman wearing jeans, a yellow top, and a jacket sitting in front of a laptop holding a hot beverage

Joy Williams, Co-Organizer, Executive Director, Hope to Thrive

Joy Williams, MFA, MDiv, MPH, is a speaker, writer, dancer, and entrepreneur. She is the founder and Executive Director of Hope to Thrive, a nonprofit in Winston-Salem, NC. You can find Joy most days turning her family home into a living and learning homestead, growing and cooking food and making homemade chemical-free cleaning and body products, and hosting indigenous lifestyles programs. Joy believes in modeling a lifestyle rooted in what it means to live simply, off the land, and striving in harmony with God, the earth, others, and oneself–all for the purpose of helping her community have access to locally grown food and a great quality of life.

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