Six New Scholars Selected to Participate in NORC’s Diversity, Racial Equity, and Inclusion Scholars Program for Fall 2022

CHICAGO, Sept. 20, 2022 – NORC at the University of Chicago selected six scholars for the 2022 NORC Diversity, Racial Equity, and Inclusion (DREI) Scholars Program. Scholars will work on secondary data analysis projects under NORC expert staff supervision, build skills, and participate in mentoring, professional learning, and career networking activities. Their analyses will cover such subjects as reproductive justice; racial disparities in health care; race and policing; anti-oppressive attitudes and the use of meditation; and social discrimination. Five scholars are from outside of NORC, and one is a NORC senior research associate. The program is from August through December 2022.

Ashani Johnson-Turbes, vice president and director of NORC’s Center on Equity Research, shared that, “NORC is deeply committed to mentoring and sponsoring the next generation of scholars focused on promoting equity through the DREI Scholars Program.”

The six 2022 scholars are (in alphabetical order):

Autumn Asher BlackDeer, PhD, Assistant professor in the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver

Indigenous Reproductive Justice: Examining Attitudes on Abortion among American Indian and Alaska Native Communities
Dataset: General Social Survey

Nneka Ibekwe-Okafor, PhD, Postdoctoral fellow for the Researchers Investigating Sociocultural Equity and Race (RISER) Network, Center on the Ecology of Early Development

Identifying Systematic Barriers to Provider Success in Predominantly Black Communities: A Latent Class Analysis
Dataset: National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE) 2019

Nora Marino, MPH, Senior research associate at NORC at the University of Chicago

Using the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) to Identify Racial Disparities in the Health Care System
Dataset: Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS)

Jonathan Reid, PhD, Assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Sam Houston State University

Economic Insecurity and American Attitudes Toward Police Reform: Exploring the Role of Political Trust and Punitive Views
Dataset: General Social Survey

Dominique Tunzi, Doctoral Candidate at Vanderbilt University

Exploring the Relationship among Anti-Oppressive Attitudes and the Use of Meditation
Dataset: General Social Survey

Fei Wang, Doctoral candidate in Social Work at Case Western Reserve University

Social Discrimination and Mental Health among Older African Americans: The Paradox and the Mechanism
Dataset: National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP)

“The scholars in this second cohort are asking innovative and important equity questions,” said Rebecca Berger, NORC research scientist and co-lead for the NORC DREI Scholars Program. “Their research is critical for furthering our collective understanding of racial/ethnic minority group strengths and structural disparities in early care and education, health, and criminal justice systems in the United States.”


About NORC at the University of Chicago
NORC at the University of Chicago conducts research and analysis that decision-makers trust. As a nonpartisan research organization and a pioneer in measuring and understanding the world, we have studied almost every aspect of the human experience and every major news event for more than eight decades. Today, we partner with government, corporate, and nonprofit clients around the world to provide the objectivity and expertise necessary to inform the critical decisions facing society. 

Contact: For more information, contact Eric Young for NORC at or
(703) 217-6814 (cell).