The Intersections of STEM and Social Justice Series

In June 2020, SEAS launched a Community Conversations Series in response to cases of anti-Black racism, police brutality, and systemic inequality in our country. Over summer and fall 2020, we hosted a number of panel events to provide dedicated space for members of our community to discuss racial injustice and the strategies to address it as individuals, as well as an institution.

In Spring 2021, this initiative evolved into The Intersections of STEM and Social Justice Series to align with our School mission "SEAS is where engineering, foundational science and the liberal arts converge. Through education and research, we address global challenges and serve society".  This series will explore the relationship between STEM and systemic oppression. We will invite renowned scholars to demonstrate how STEM can be applied to address social injustices, discuss how STEM has historically been used to sustain inequality, and provide research based best practices to improving STEM education for students of marginalized identities.


Fall 2023

Dr. Rory Cooper


Dr. Rory Cooper

Luncheon Keynote Speaker

Accessibility by Design: A Teach-in on Disability for the SEAS Community

ABSTRACT: The Human Engineering Research Labs (HERL) is a pioneering institution at the forefront of engineering, inclusion, and accessibility. HERL's work is dedicated to enhancing the health and quality of life for individuals with disabilities through innovative engineering solutions. HERL has made important contributions to the development of instrumentation, mobility aids, and assistive devices, all designed working with people with disabilities to further empower people with disabilities, improve accessibility, and promote autonomy. HERL’s research spans a wide range of applications, from sports and recreation technology, advanced wheelchair design and robotics to accessible transportation and inclusive urban planning. By bridging the gap between engineering expertise, clinical skills, and the lived experiences of individuals with disabilities, HERL plays a pivotal role in expanding opportunities, advancing inclusivity and accessibility for people with diverse abilities, fostering a more equitable and inclusive world for all.

Past Talks 



Our Spring iteration of the Intersections of STEM and Social Justice concluded on March 10 right before Spring break.  SEAS students, alumni and staff joined the virtual event to hear from Dr. Mishra about her personal mentorship journey and the values that guided SureStart to its successes. Keep an eye out on this space for future sessions of the Intersections of STEM and Social Justice series!


Dr. Taniya Mishra

Founder and CEO of SureStart

How can we change the face of the AI workforce and build better, more ethical AI?

Dr. Taniya Mishra, founder and CEO of SureStart, will speak about systemic injustices in AI and how she has strived to address this by building the next generation of diverse tech leaders. She will share about her experience being a mentor and increasing workforce diversity through opportunity equity, thereby helping to chart the path for better, more ethical AI in the future.

Date: 10 March, 2022 (Thursday)

Time: 4pm - 5pm ET

Registration Link: (event closed)

Dr. Ravi Shroff: A large-scale analysis of racial disparities in police stops across the United States
Professor Ravi Shroff

Dr. Ravi Shroff

Assistant Professor of Applied Statistics in the department of Applied Statistics, Social Science, and Humanities ( AS H), New York University's Steinhardt School

Title: "A large-scale analysis of racial disparities in police stops across the United States"

Date: November 19, 2021 @ 1 pm EST

Ravi Shroff is an Assistant Professor of Applied Statistics in NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. His research interests are broadly related to computational social science, and in particular, the application of statistical and machine learning methods to a variety of urban issues. Previously, Ravi was a Senior Research Scientist at NYU's Center for Urban Science and Progress, and before that, he was a postdoc in the Mathematical Sciences Institute at the Australian National University.

Dr. Terrell Morton: Addressing Hostility: A Critical-Systematic Perspective of Engineering Culture and Its Implications on Black and Brown Student Engagement

Dr. Terrell Morton

Assistant Professor of Identity and Justice in STEM Education, University of Missouri

Title: "Addressing Hostility: A Critical-Systematic Perspective of Engineering Culture and Its Implications on Black and Brown Student Engagement"

Abstract: Scholars and practitioners seeking to enhance Black and Brown students’ postsecondary STEM experiences often fall short in creating truly inclusive spaces as many of the proposed solutions do not address structural-cultural barriers that manifest as a result of systemic oppression. This presentation will provide ways to optimize engineering education that can enhance and advance Black and Brown students’ success, by introducing frameworks that help unpack the role of structural racism on student interactions and behaviors. Demonstrations on how to leverage these frameworks to create inclusive engineering learning environments are provided.

Dr. Renata Konrad: Anti-Human Trafficking Efforts and the Potential of Engineering and Analytical Techniques

Dr. Renata Konrad

Associate Professor of Industrial and Operations Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Title: "Anti-Human Trafficking Efforts and the Potential of Engineering and Analytical Techniques"

Abstract: Human trafficking is a complex issue affecting society and economy. Forced labour and sexual exploitation represent a multi-billion dollar global industry, victimizing tens of millions of adults and children of all gender identities worldwide. It transcends national borders, is prevalent in both impoverished and wealthy countries, and undermines fundamental human rights and a broader sense of global order.

Event Recordings

Allyship in the Scientific Enterprise: Performance or Progress? - October 6, 2020

SEAS and Boston University Graduate Medical Sciences hosted a panel on allyship in STEM, featuring nationally recognized faculty engaged in both STEM and diversity, equity, and inclusion scholarship as they discussed strategies to move from statements to actionable next steps in support of underrepresented students, faculty, researchers, and staff. Moderated by Dr. Alexis J Stokes, Assistant Dean for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging at Harvard SEAS and Farrah Belizaire, Associate Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Boston University School of Medicine.


  • Dr. Tyrone Porter, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Myron L. Begeman Fellow in Engineering, University of Texas at Austin
  • Dr. Karina Gonzalez Herrera, Associate Director of Diversity and Minority Affairs, Division of Medical Sciences, Harvard University
  • Dr. W. Marcus Lambert, Assistant Dean of Diversity and Student Life, Assistant Professor of Education Research in Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine
  • Dr. Brooke Coley, Assistant Professor in Engineering, Polytechnic School of the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering, Arizona State University
Celebrating the Legacy of Juneteenth - June 26, 2020

Keynote Speaker: Dimitry Anselme, Executive Program Director, Facing History and Ourselves

SEAS invited Dimitry Anselm to not only educate us on the history of Juneteenth but celebrate freedom and culture. We gathered virtually to not only honor those that celebrated freedom on June 19, 1865, but also those that did not live to see that day. We recognize those that lie in the depths of the sea and the many that died on this land actively fighting for the freedom of Black people.

Two Pandemics - June 2, 2020

SEAS and the FAS Division of Science hosted a virtual panel and Q&A to discuss racial injustice, dealing with racial trauma, and strategies for change. The panel was moderated by Dr. Alexis J. Stokes, Director of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging at SEAS.


  • Dr. Ande Durojaiye, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs, Northern Kentucky University
  • Dr. Evelynn Hammonds, Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz Professor of the History of Science and Professor of African and African American Studies, Harvard University
  • Dr. Tiffany Pogue, Assistant Professor of Education, Albany State University
  • Dr. Tracy Robinson-Wood, Professor of Applied Psychology, Bouve College of Health Science, Northeastern University

Books recommended by panelists:

1. White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

2. Too Much Schooling, Too Little Education: A Paradox of Black Life in White Societies by Mwalimu Shujaa

3. Evidence of Things Not Seen by James Baldwin

4. Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire