Unable to make an event? Catch up any time by visiting the HFES Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Webinar Series webinar library to view these recordings.

The recruitment of a diverse and representative group of participants is essential to ensuring various perspectives are represented, both within research organizations and the private sector. During this 75-minute webinar, our panel of expert researchers will share the challenges and successes they’ve experienced regarding topics such as access and marketing to marginalized or hard-to-reach communities and compensation strategies.

Our distinguished panel includes:

Maurita Harris, M.S., from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, whose focus is on community health.

Maria A. Statler, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor at Towson University where she teaches undergraduate nurses’ research, diversity & social justice courses.

Jacklin Stonewall, M.S., from Iowa State University, whose research is in industrial engineering and human computer interaction.

Enid Montague, Ph.D., an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto, whose focus is on the unintended consequences of technology in complex sociotechnical systems.

Session organizers and facilitators: Niki Howard and Kenya Oduor

The BIPOC AG held its inaugural webinar, as part of the HFES Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Webinar Series, in June. This webinar introduced the adverse impacts of racism on health and described how racial and ethnic considerations are not often incorporated in the design process of technology.


As noted by many human factors professionals, technology is often created from the perspective of the designer without adequate attention to the mental models of intended users. One aspect of user mental models that that may be overlooked is related to the work systems in which racial and ethnic minorities are embedded. In this talk, I will discuss the case study of consumer health information technology and note that calls to enhance culturally competent care also apply to the virtual world as health IT increasingly becomes a substantive part of the healthcare ecosystem. In particular, I'll discuss approaches for incorporating the needs of racial and ethnic minorities into the design process and how such needs should be accounted for in design choices related to the technology platform, functionality, content, and interface. 

Racism is one of the most sinister and poorly recognized forces responsible for stress and ill health in societies today. It causes a cascade of adverse near-term and long-term effects that can profoundly affect well-being, self-image, and health throughout the life-course. The toll of racism on the human body is vast, and so it is helpful to think of racism as a disease, which can be mitigated and eventually defeated by awareness of its many and varied symptoms.


Nina Jablonski, Ph.D., is the Evan Pugh University Professor of Anthropology at The Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Jablonski is a biological anthropologist by training, and devoted her career to basic research on how primates, including humans, have adapted to their environment. For the last 30 years, she has been most intrigued by questions in human evolution not directly answered by the fossil record, foremost among these being the evolution of human skin and skin pigmentation. She is interested not only in the evolution of skin pigmentation, but also in the many other meanings and ramifications of skin color in modern life, including its implications for health and its connection with concepts of race. 

Rupa Valdez, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the University of Virginia with joint appointments at the School of Medicine and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Dr. Valdez merges the disciplines of human factors engineering, health informatics, and cultural anthropology to understand and support the ways in which people manage health at home and in the community. Her research and teaching focuses on undeserved populations, including populations that are racial/ethnic minorities, are of low socioeconomic status, or are living with physical, sensory, or cognitive disabilities.

Session organizer and facilitator: Niki Howard