JEDI Corner

JEDI Corner is a regular component of Amstat News in which statisticians write about and educate our community on JEDI-related matters. If you have an idea or article for the column, email the JEDI Corner coordinator.

Published articles

Photo of attendees picking up graduate fair materials at Field of Dreams Conference registration table The Math Alliance
By David Goldberg, Jacqueline Hughes-Oliver, Leslie McClure, and Javier Rojo, published Sep 1, 2023
The Math Alliance is a national mentoring community of faculty (mentors) and students (scholars) focusing on increasing traditionally excluded American minorities in the quantitative sciences professions.

JSM 2023 logo JEDI at JSM 2023
By Yates Coley, published Aug 1, 2023
This year’s Joint Statistical Meetings will take place August 5–10 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Outreach Group is sponsoring or co-sponsoring more than a dozen activities showcasing work to promote JEDI in the practice and profession of statistics.

Photo of Michael Tsiang Fund Set Up to Kick-Start Community for Underrepresented People in Statistics
By Michael Tsiang, published Jul 1, 2023
I am lucky to have my dream job working in the department of statistics at the University of California, Los Angeles. My mom worked at UCLA as a librarian for 40 years; I grew up on this campus, and it has always felt like home. I love what I do, and I have a department of faculty, staff, alumni, and students who make me feel like I belong every single day. However, there’s a phrase that has come back to me many times over the last few years--This moment is not about me. Though I feel safe in my current position, I have been in other STEM environments in which I did not feel welcome for reasons completely unrelated to my intelligence or competence in the field. I felt invisible and marginalized—a second-class citizen.

Graphic illustration with two cartoon dialogue bubbles, one square and one round. Dialogue bubbles have horizontal rainbow stripes in the background and a white heart shape in the center. Beyond the Myth of ‘Hard to Reach’: Considerations for Engaging LGBTQIA+ Communities
By Yates Coley, published Jun 1, 2023
It is commonly believed that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual populations are “hard to reach” for research participation. Not so, say the three expert presenters for the ASA LGBTQ+ Advocacy Committee’s inaugural webinar, “Sociocultural and Analytical Considerations for Engaging LGBTQIA+ Communities.”

Screengrab of JEDI Corner page from Amstat News Student Travel Funding Needed to Impove Access to Profession
By Therri Usher, Lydia Gibson, Brittney Bailey, Yates Coley, published May 1, 2023
Broad exposure to the field, good mentorship, and a strong network are essential to career development. Early access to conferences creates opportunities for students to establish relationships and explore the field. For students with marginalized identities, a conference may be the first place they encounter other statisticians with similar identities, which could contribute to a sense of belonging in the field. However, equitable accessibility to conferences is not always available for these students. The financial cost of attending conferences is often a prohibitive factor.

Photo of CUBE 2022 Virginia Tech interns Kinara Gasper and Kayla Williams Biostatistics Program Gives Students Real-World Experience
By Alexandra Hanlon, Ryann Kolb, and Alicia Lozano, published Apr 1, 2023
The Collaborative Undergraduate Biostatistics Experience (CUBE) is gearing up for its second year at Virginia Tech this summer. CUBE exposes undergraduate STEM students, specifically those who are part of an underrepresented/minority population, to the data science and collaborative biostatistics fields.

Photo of Lydia Gibson A Year in Review: JEDI Student and Young Professionals Committee
By Lydia Gibson, published Mar 1, 2023
The Student and Young Professionals Committee of the ASA Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Outreach Group was established in 2022 to address the unique challenges faced by students and young professionals—those within five years of their highest terminal degree—as they navigate the statistics community. The committee provides students and other early-career folks the opportunity to build a diverse, inclusive, and respectful community to connect and share ideas with like-minded individuals as they develop their career aspirations.

Photo of Claire Morton Suggestions for Combining Secondary Data Analysis and Community-Based Research
By Claire Morton, published Feb 1, 2023
We are living in an explosion of publicly available data. A huge amount of information is released in publications and publicly available surveys, updated data-sharing policies frequently require primary data to be accessible, and advancing technology facilitates more sophisticated analyses. All this data has power—power to affect all areas of policy, influence decision-makers, and, ultimately, tell people’s stories.

Screengrab of JEDI Corner page from Amstat News From Visualization to 'Sensification'
By Andrew Gelman and Gwynn Sturdevant, published Jan 2, 2023
Statisticians and analysts use visualization tools to not just sell their work with pretty pictures, but to find problems with their models and construct new procedures as part of data-analysis workflow. But visualization excludes people with visual impairments, an increasingly important issue as the population gets older. How can statisticians and analysts provide some of the benefits of the dataviz revolution?

Screengrab of JEDI Corner page from Amstat News Achieving Diversity in Labor Market Needs JEDI, Advocacy Groups
By Joseph Gastwirth, published Dec 1, 2022
The Civil Rights movement, which led to the desegregation of schools and the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1972, helped improve the economic status of Blacks relative to whites from the 1950s to the early 1980s. According to "Black-White Earnings Over the 1970s and 1980s, Gender Differences in Trends" in The Review of Economics and Statistics, however, socioeconomic disparities have persisted due to, in part, legal, governmental, and societal practices that systematically deny resources and opportunities to racial minorities.

Photo of David Banks Putting Our JEDI Values into Action: It's Past Time for a Chinese-American ASA President
By David Banks, published Nov 1, 2022
I am very proud of the ASA for its recent JEDI initiative and the Anti-Racism Task Force. Both make the association better and fairer, but they also introduce complexity. It is easy to say we oppose racism and inequity, but operationalizing such principles is not straightforward. As a specific example, I point to the fact that the ASA has never elected a statistician of Chinese descent as its president.

Finding Ada: Identifying, Engaging, and Empowering Women in Statistics and Data Science
By Kelly H. Zou, published Oct 1, 2022
Ada Lovelace Day falls on October 12 every year. According to the website Finding Ada, it "is an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM).” In terms of its purpose and outreach on and beyond Ada Lovelace Day, “it aims to increase the profile of women in STEM and, in doing so, create new role models who will encourage more girls into STEM careers and support women already working in STEM."

Photo of Shu-Min Liao Disabilities as Assets and Strengths
By Shu-Min Liao, Chuck Coleman, Ryan Machtmes, Peter Flom, Erin Chapman, and Anja Zgodic, published Sep 1, 2022
As stated by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Disability impacts all of us.” More than a quarter of the US population has some type of disability, many of which are invisible (e.g., chronic illness or learning disabilities) or doubly invisible (e.g., struggles with social cues). Over the past decade, societal understanding of disability has increased. Whereas the focus used to be on limitations brought on by disability, today’s understanding and study of disability looks at the positive aspects disabled individuals add to their communities.

Photo of Jana Asher So Much to Do, So Little Time
By Jana Asher, published Aug 1, 2022
By the time you read this article, the 2022 Joint Statistical Meetings in Washington, DC, will either be about to start or underway. This month’s article introduces readers to the plethora of JSM sessions and events either co-sponsored by the JEDI Outreach Group or related to JEDI initiatives.

Photo of Boyi Guo Keep Your Receipts: How Early-Career Statisticians Can Navigate Conferences
By Boyi Guo and Sarah Samorodnitsky, published Jul 1, 2022
A key component of advancing JEDI in our profession is ensuring that all students and young professionals have access to the knowledge and resources needed to benefit from new and perhaps unfamiliar professional activities. This month’s JEDI Corner from two student contributors offers practical advice to junior statisticians preparing for their first conference experience.

Photo of Suzanne Thornton Statistics Education and Reconsidering the Status Quo
By Suzanne Thornton, published Jun 1, 2022
Imagine an introductory statistics instructor is teaching students about categorical variables, maybe even discussing how to include these variables in a linear regression model. To keep her students engaged, the instructor asks the students to think about the difference between categorical and numeric variables and solicits examples. The first student to raise their hand confidently exclaims “gender!”

Photo of Stephanie Cook Promoting Diversity in Data Repository Research
By Stephanie Cook and Erica P. Wood, published May 2, 2022
The National Institutes of Health is investing resources in constructing secure data repositories in which researchers and community members are able to use publicly available data. One such program is the NIH’s All of Us Research Program, which has expanded its Researcher Workbench to include data contributed by more than 329,000 participants, about 80 percent of whom are from communities that have been historically underrepresented in biomedical research.

Photo of Jana Asher Infusing DEI Learning Into an Elementary Statistics Class
By Jana Asher, published Apr 1, 2022
For many years, a small group of dedicated faculty members at Slippery Rock University, in Pennsylvania, have been lobbying for a diversity education requirement for undergraduate students. This diversity requirement would be fulfilled through completion of one of several specially designated courses to ground student learning in principles related to equity and inclusion. I joined this faculty group just as success was on the horizon, and I helped structure an online training for the faculty that would be creating and teaching the new “diversity designated” courses.

Photo of Godwin Yung Increasing JEDI in Clinical Trials
By Godwin Yung and Dooti Roy, published Mar 1, 2022
Statistical practitioners in the biopharmaceutical area gather at the ASA Biopharmaceutical Section Regulatory-Industry Statistics Workshop (BIOP) every September to engage in conversations about contemporary topics of importance. Having heard the health disparities taking place in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and being industry statisticians ourselves, we decided to host a roundtable at this year’s conference on increasing JEDI in clinical trials—a related but wider topic.

Photo of Robert A. Tumasian III Cochairs Discuss Plans for Student and Young Professionals Committee
By Robert A. Tumasian III and Lydia Gibson, published Feb 1, 2022
This month, The Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Corner is spotlighting the incoming cochairs of the Student and Young Professionals Committee—Robert Tumasian III and Lydia Gibson—and asking them a few questions about themselves and their visions for the committee in 2022.

Photo of Shu-Min Liao At the Rise of JEDI: Lessons Learned from Fall of Jedi Order in Star Wars
By Shu-Min Liao, published Jan 1, 2022
This summer, I enjoyed the fun of watching all three Star Wars trilogies in chronological order with my nine-year-old boy. He is finally old enough to enjoy those films with me; plus, not being able to travel during the pandemic gave us time (or excuses?) to watch all the movies on nine Friday nights.

50th anniversary logo design for the Caucus for Women in Statistics, 1971-2021 Caucus for Women in Statistics Celebrates 50 Years
By Donna Brogan, Nairanjana Dasgupta, Amanda Golbeck, Wendy Lou, and Motomi Mori, published Dec 1, 2021
The Caucus for Women in Statistics (CWS) is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Formed in 1971 before “JEDI” became an acronym known to all, CWS has been on the forefront of giving a voice to women in statistics and offering support, mentorship, friendship, and a safe space for discussion about challenging and often difficult topics faced by women.

Statistics for Equity: Capturing, Not Masking, Intersectional Dynamics in Data
By Stephanie H. Cook, Suzanne Thornton, Samantha E. Robinson, James J. Cochran, and Godwin Yung, published Nov 1, 2021
Statistics is the language of data. Just like any other language, statistics requires structure and rules for interpreting messages from data. However, statistics poses additional communications challenges, as it depends on one’s written language, which is always rife with nuances. Hence, the effectiveness of statistics for communicating concepts from data (e.g., selecting, understanding, and interpreting statistical models) also depends on one’s written language acuity.

The JEDI Corner: How to Help Advocate for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
By Kimberly F. Sellers, published Oct 1, 2021
The year 2020 proved to be a watershed period in our society, given the dual epidemics of health disparities and racism. It brought many underlying issues regarding justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion to the forefront, such that people could no longer turn a blind eye to them.

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