National Data Science Alliance (NDSA)


Clark Atlanta University

Principal Investigator
Talitha Washington

Co-Principal Investigators
Eric Mintz
Moses Garuba
Sajid Hussain
LaTanya Brown-Robertson

Goal: The NDSA is designed to increase the number of Black people who earn data science credentials, such as undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate minors, certificates, and degrees.

On average, Black people comprise about 3% of all data science professionals, demonstrating the need for an Alliance-scale effort to address this STEM-broadening participation challenge. The NDSA also aims to expand data science research that advocates for social justice and transforms data science discoveries into tangible benefits that advance equity for all.

The potential for the perpetuation of harm through biased data technologies and algorithms is well documented. The NDSA establishes a national network of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) with industry, government, and academic collaborations to apply an equity-centered, collective approach to increase the number of Black data science professionals and eliminate harmful biases in data-driven models. The proposal involves three HBCUs, organized into regional hubs: Clark Atlanta University, Fisk University, and Howard University.

The NDSA has four mutually reinforcing goals:

  1. expand academic and research opportunities that engage HBCU students in data science;
  2. develop research in data science that reduces bias and promotes ethics, fairness, and validity;
  3. foster the growth of sustainable institutional capacity in data science at HBCUs; and
  4. champion evidence-based inclusive practices and strategies that broaden the participation of HBCUs in data science.