Historically Black Clark Atlanta University received a $10 million award from the National Science Foundation INCLUDES program to establish the National Data Science Alliance (NDSA). The NDSA aims to increase the number of Black people earning data science credentials by at least 20,000 by 2027 and expand data science research that advocates for social justice and will strive to eliminate bias.
Regional hubs will be established at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and Fisk University in Nashville. The five-year program will work to build data science capacity at historically Black colleges and universities with the goal to substantially increase the number of Black students with data science credentials and expertise on researching ethics, bias, and fairness in the use of data.
Talitha Washington, the lead and principal investigator of the grant, the director of the Atlanta University Center Data Science Initiative, and professor of mathematics at Clark Atlanta University, stated that “we are excited that many HBCUs will collaborate with us to develop new equity-based discoveries in data science and expand student pathways that will change the face of data science.”
George T. French Jr., president of Clark Atlanta University added that “this is a monumental accomplishment for the HBCU community as a whole, and we at Clark Atlanta University are deeply honored to perpetuate institutional mission through data science. Clark Atlanta University has deep roots in conducting data science research that promotes equity, including the seminal works of scholar and former faculty member W.E.B. Du Bois. This historic award exemplifies our commitment to ensuring competitive advantage for students to succeed and excel in our data-driven society.”
The Clark Atlanta University grant is one of four new NSF INCLUDES Alliances. Other centers are being created at Chaminade University in Honolulu, the University of Montana, and the University of Maryland Baltimore County.