Speakers

Speakers

2019

Yeshimabeit Milner is the Founder & Executive Director of Data for Black Lives. She has worked since she was 17 behind the scenes as a movement builder, technologist and data scientist on a number of campaigns. She started Data for Black Lives because for too long she straddled the worlds of data and organizing and was determined to break down the silos to harness the power of data to make change in the lives of Black people. In two years, Data for Black Lives has raised over $2 million, hosted two sold out conferences at the MIT Media Lab and has changed the conversation around big data & technology across the US and globally. As the founder of Data for Black Lives, her work has received much acclaim. Yeshimabeit is an Echoing Green Black Male Achievement Fellow and joins the founders of Black Lives Matter and Occupy Wall Street in the distinguished inaugural class of Roddenberry Foundation Fellows. Yeshimabeit has a BA from Brown University and serves on the board of the historic Highlander Center for Research & Education.

Michelle Birkett, Ph.D., (she/her) is an assistant professor in the Department of Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University and directs the CONNECT Complex Systems and Health Disparities Research Program within the Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing. Dr. Birkett’s research uses network and quantitative methodologies to understand the social contextual influence of stigma on the health and wellbeing of marginalized populations, and in particular, sexual and gender minority youth. She is committed to conducting research that leads to social change at multiple levels of society to eliminate health disparities. Dr. Birkett has led multiple NIH-funded projects. She is the recipient of a NIH Career Development Award focused on understanding network, multilevel, and contextual influences on racial disparities in HIV within young men who have sex with men (K08 DA037825). She also directs Network Canvas (R01 DA042711; Dual PIs: Birkett & Phillips), a software development project which seeks to simplify the collection and streamline the management of social data, thereby allowing health researchers to assess more nuanced associations between social contextual factors and disease.

Gregory Phillips II, M.S., Ph.D., (he/him) is an assistant professor in the Department of Medical Social Sciences, and directs the research program in Evaluation, Data Integration, and Technical Assistance (EDIT) within ISGMH. His research focuses on understanding social-, sexual-, and network-level factors that drive the HIV epidemic among men who have sex with men (MSM), particularly among young MSM and Black MSM. He received his doctorate in Epidemiology from The George Washington University in 2012, and has spent the last decade working on HRSA-, CDC-, and NIH-funded projects focused on identifying behaviors associated with HIV infection and effective interventions to halt the spread of HIV among affected populations. He is currently the principal investigator (PI) of two NIH-funded R01 awards: an NIAAA-funded project assessing the role of alcohol disparities in HIV risk among sexual minority youth utilizing data from the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS); and Network Canvas, a NIDA-funded project to develop a standalone software suite that will simplify the process of collecting complex network and geospatial data. Additionally, Dr. Phillips works on and collaborates with a variety of research projects related to program evaluation and use of diverse datasets to address health disparities among sexual and gender minority individuals.

Lauren Beach, J.D., Ph.D., (she/her) is a Research Assistant Professor within the Department of Medical Social Sciences in the Feinberg School of Medicine. She is also Associate Director of the EDIT Program within the Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing at Northwestern University. Dr. Beach is a sexual and gender minority health researcher who aspires to advance health equity through collaborative scholarship, community engagement, and advocacy while applying an intersectional social justice based lens. Dr. Beach completed her Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology & Genetics in 2014. In December 2012, she received her law degree magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School. Dr. Beach is supported by a K12 award from the Third Coast HIV-related Cardiovascular (CV) and Sleep Disorders K12 Career Development Program (K12HL143959). For her K12 project CADENCES HIV, she investigates social and biological mechanisms that contribute to heart failure in people living with HIV. Dr. Beach is a well-recognized LGBTQIA and bisexual community leader. Among other accolades, she has been named a Point Foundation scholar and one of Advocate Magazine’s 40 Under 40 LGBT activists in the United States.