About Us

ABOUT

Born out of a pandemic, but not defined by it, COVID Black started in April 2020 with a call to faculty in colleges and universities to demand that their local and state public health departments collect and publish racial data on the coronavirus pandemic. Since that time, COVID Black has evolved into an organization that recognizes the power of health data and information combined with critical and justice-oriented theoretical frameworks of Black Studies, Black Digital Humanities, Public Humanities, Health Humanities, and Public Health to tell empowering stories about Black life that address racial health disparities.

WHAT WE DO

Problems We Solve

We help health care organizations, academic institutions and Black communities solve problems about Black health through data storytelling and innovative learning solutions. 

Data is more than facts and statistics. Black health data represents life. We redefine traditional health data into living data and mixed media stories about the lived Black health experience. Our Black health data stories aid in the fight for health equity and the efforts to end racial health disparities that impact Black diasporic communities and other people of color.

 

FOCUS AREAS

At the center of our work are five key areas which emphasize living data and Black digital ethics, standards that are dedicated to ensuring autonomy and that the dignity of Black people and their experiences are respected on the Internet.

Black Health Information focuses on the data and discourse which circulates on and around the subject of Black health. These conversations around the intersection of health and the Black community include but are not limited to immunity and the immune system, comorbidities, the spread of viruses and disease, as well as information on risk factors. Information, as well as mis/disinformation, spreads through networks of influence, whether that be from news sources, social media, and community members. Black health information also includes the exchange of grassroots knowledge and how Black communities discuss the importance of health within individuals and the collective.

Healthcare systems focuses on the collection of Black health data and interactions with medical institutions and officials in order to examine the intersections of race, public health, and policy. Specifically, this area of focus is concerned with how data is collected, or not collected, by institutions of health as well as how Black people are treated, or not treated, within medical systems. Institutional Health Care also explores the “outsider-within” experiences of Black people who work with and within medical institutions, such as doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals and administrators.

Black Lived Experience focuses on local and community-based living data.These lived experiences are up to date and in the moment collections of what it is like to live and breathe in a society rife with health disparity and social inequity. Living data focuses on topics which are relevant to the day-to-day experiences of Black diasporic people, such as food desserts and gentrification, as well inequalities in income, housing, employment, and access to education and technology.

Black Sociopolitical Communities focuses on data that captures the politics of Black communities by asking “Who do we define as members of the Black community?” and “How does in-group and out-group discourse determine Black identity?” The Black community is diasporic and continental, intersectional and heterogeneous, with a mixture of community identifications and counterpublics within it. Embedded in Black sociopolitical communities are intra-group differences which include, but are not limited to, stratifications in socioeconomic status, age and generational differences, dis/abilities, regional and cultural specificities, religion and spiritual practices, intersectional marginalization, and LGBTQIA+ identities.

Community-focused research focuses on data innovation in multiple academic fields and disciplines in order to better serve Black communities. This focus on community is a return to the roots of Black Studies which established the relationship between theory and praxis to empower the voices and experiences of Black people over the prominence of institutional knowledge.

Services We Offer

We help healthcare systems, academic institutions, non-profit organizations, and companies solve problems around racism and health with data and information services. We find the best solution for your organization’s efforts to achieve health equity for Black people and other communities of color.

Custom E-Learning and Webinars

We specialize in developing custom e-learning content based on modern instructional design and visual design principles to create an impactful learning experiences about race, health disparities, health equity, and medicine. Our instructional/visual designers use interactive elements such as animations, stories, scenarios, gamification, themes, learning content and interactions to keep to keep learners engaged and involved in learning.

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Data Analytics & Visualizations

We leverage our deep knowledge about health disparities, health equity, race and data to design, build and deploy data dashboards, reports, interactive data analytics, visualizations, and infographics to assist organizations in developing actionable strategies to improve Black health outcomes.

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Health and Ethnicity/Race Research

We provide qualitative and quantitative research services that support healthcare professionals, faculty, staff and students’ research needs by identifying the roots of historical and contemporary health disparities and public health measures that seek to foster health equity for Black people and other people of color in the United States.

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Training and Workshops

We train healthcare professionals, faculty, staff, students, and community members to analyze, visualize, and communicate with health data, using real datasets and examples about health disparities, health equity and race that are relevant to a variety of healthcare systems, audiences, and academic disciplines.

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WHO WE ARE

COVID Black is data organization that includes a team of, public health experts, a health data information specialist, software engineer, an educational technologist, a data analyst and a data researcher who are led by a historian with expertise in the digital humanities, learning design technology and data analytics.

OUR TEAM

Kim Gallon, PhD, MS, MLIS
Founder and Executive Director

Kim Gallon, PhD, MS, MLIS
Founder and Executive Director

Expertise in health data analytics, text and data mining; network analysis of the history of race and public health Information; instructional design; e-learning development; project management.

Peace Ossom Williamson, MLS, MS
Public Health Informatics Analyst

Peace Ossom Williamson, MLS, MS
Public Health Informatics Analyst

Expertise in data literacy, information literacy, health education and promotion, curriculum development, scholarly communication and metascience, systematic reviews, and critical appraisal.

Alicia L. Best, PhD, MPH, CHES, CPH
Health and Communication Researcher 

Alicia L. Best, PhD, MPH, CHES, CPH
Health and Communication Researcher

Expertise in community-engaged research to understand how social, cultural, structural and systemic factors influence health among underserved populations.

Ciara Gallon, MSW
Project Coordinator

Ciara Gallon, MSW
Project Coordinator

Expertise in crisis intervention management, healthcare planning and education; stress management; and psychosocial assessments.

Amanda Holman, BS, MS
Data Analyst

Amanda Holman, BS, MS
Data Analyst

Expertise in data analysis and visualization; data literacy; data tools.

Karmen Cooper, MA, MEd, MS
Educational Technologist

Karmen Cooper, MA, MEd, MS
Educational Technologist

Expertise in instructional technology, instructional design, e-learning, and educational media.

Joan Mukogosi, BA
Data Researcher

Joan Mukogosi, BA
Data Researcher

Expertise in public health data research; critical digital technologies; project management.

Alec Jordan, BA
Software Engineer and Web Developer

Alec Jordan, BA
Software Engineer and Web Developer

Expertise in user interface design, software development; data management; multiple front-end and server-side technologies; developer operations.