The Diversity, Racial Equity, and Inclusion Scholars Program

Program Overview

NORC at the University of Chicago leads a Diversity, Racial Equity, and Inclusion (DREI) Scholars Program, an opportunity for early career scholars to engage in critical research under the supervision of NORC expert staff, build skills, and participate in a robust mentoring and career networking program. The program advances the skills of emerging research scientists, data scientists, statisticians, and methodologists pursuing research on diversity, disparities, equity, and inclusion and expands the pipeline of historically underrepresented populations pursuing social science research.

Program Goals

The research scholars use existing NORC datasets and conduct equity-focused, secondary data analyses to inform programs, policies, and services that promote the social and economic well-being of diverse populations. The program:

Trains and supports the next generation of diverse scholars.

  • Mentorship: Research scholars collaborate with and are mentored by NORC DREI expert researchers who help guide, refine, and support the implementation of the secondary data analyses. The scholars also receive support and mentorship from other NORC experts, such as those in statistics and methodology.

Fosters the exchange of ideas, research, and information.

  • Collaboration and Networking: Research scholars participate in weekly calls with their NORC mentors and share their research with NORC’s DREI Research Collaborative, a panel of DREI subject matter experts at NORC.

Program Aims

NORC is interested in funding research on diversity, disparities, equity, and inclusion that has at least one of the following aims:

  1. Describe how structures and other societal contexts frame the experiences of diverse individuals in the United States.
  2. Understand strengths within diverse communities in the United States that promote individual success and well-being.
  3. Identify important within-group variation that is key for enhancing programs in diverse communities in the United States.
  4. Examine how racism impacts racially and ethnically diverse communities and individuals in the United States.

Diversity, Racial Equity, and Inclusion Scholars 2022

2022 Cohort
Autumn Asher BlackDeer, Ph.D.
Dominique Tunzi, M.Sc., Ed.M.,
Fei Wang, MSW
Jonathan Reid, Ph.D.
Nora Marino, MPH
Nneka Ibekwe Okafor, Ph.D.

Diversity, Racial Equity, and Inclusion Scholars Alumni

2021 Cohort
Meghana Chandra, MPP
Juan Del Toro, PhD
Isabel Goddard, MA
Melissa Gutwein, MA
Christine Head, MA
Arturia Melson-Silimon, MS
Wendy Ochoa, PhD
Sruthi Swami, PhD


Ashani Johnson-Turbes
Vice President

Michael López
Vice President

Vince Welch
Associate Director

Margaret Hargreaves
Senior Fellow

Wesley Williams
Senior Research Director

Chandria Jones
Senior Research Scientist

Rebecca Berger
Research Scientist

Contact Information and Questions

Please email questions to with "NORC Research Scholars 2022" in the subject line. No phone calls, please.

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