“I wish I could shut up, but I can’t, and I won’t.” – Desmond Tutu

As I reflect on 2021, I am overwhelmed with gratitude and a sense of accomplishment.  With support from the National Science Foundation and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, we hired Himaja C. Nimmagadda as the Associate Director for the Inclusive Peer Onsite Distance (IPOD) Mentoring Program, which welcomed its first cohort in September.  Support from the Peter G. Peterson Foundation also allowed us to hire Jerry Pender as the Research Director for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). I am grateful to Himaja, who is our process diva.  She took the lead on recruiting, selecting, and matching mentors, creating forms, and organizing workshops for IPODS.  She also negotiated our contracts with Door Dash and contacts for swag and GRE prep.  Thank you, Himaja!

I am grateful to Jerry, who sees everything through the lens of child care and criminal justice reform.  Oh, and how veterans can be an asset in these spaces.  If you are wondering how this is connected to STEM, stay tuned.  Jerry is finalizing the draft of our ban the box on rental applications project.  He also hosted our first webinar.  Thank you, Jerry!

What we have been up to

In June, we hosted our first webinar, Child Care for All: Eliminating Child Care Deserts, and our second in November, Hidden in the Data: Crafting Policies to Address Inequality.

We received two invitations to speak to Congressional members.  In May, I spoke virtually to members of the  Ways and Means Committee’s Racial Equity Initiative as part of the Equity Series Panel, Measuring What We Value: Bridging Gaps in Data and Reporting on Race and Ethnicity.  Last month, I spoke to the House Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth.  These opportunities and my interview with Kai Ryssdal, Marketplace, allowed me to discuss the importance of disaggregating data.

I gave the keynote address for the Association of Public Data Users’  2021 Annual Conference, 37th International Black Women’s Congress Annual Conference, and Community Indicators Consortium Conference.  I also participated in panels hosted by Industry Studies Association’s Racial Equity and Opportunity Webinar Series, From Day One, Spotify, the Progressive Policy Institute and Equitable Growth, American Association of Blacks in Higher Education, University of Notre Dame, and American University, to name a few.  (Hyperlinks are to the video for the event.)

I am grateful for continued support from the Tara Health Foundation, which awarded WISER another $10,000 grant.

I am grateful for all who have given throughout the year.

Mindfullness in 2022

In 2022, I want to be mindful of a few quotes.

Do your little bit of good where you are; those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.– Desmond Tutu

We need your support for WISER to do our little bit of good.

Therefore, I ask that you consider adding WISER to the list of nonprofits you support.  We have several donors who give to us monthly.  If your budget allows, please consider giving monthly via recurring payments.

If you shop at Amazon, use this https://smile.amazon.com/ch/81-1741783, and a portion of eligible purchases will be donated to WISER.

The work WISER does has at its core inclusion.  Himaja, Jerry, and I and very aware of the ways we are privileged.  We understand,

Privilege is not in and of itself bad; what matters is what we do with privilege. Iwantto live in a world where all women have access toeducation, and all womencan PhDs, if they so desire. Privilegedoes not have to be negative, but wehave to share our resources and take direction abouthow to use our privilege in ways that empower those who lack it.– bell hooks

If you cannot support WISER with treasure, please consider giving your time by sharing our work.

Happy New Year,