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Follow the Data Podcast: Identifying Implicit Biases in Cities

As mayor of New York City, Mike Bloomberg launched the Young Men’s Initiative to tackle persistent problems facing young Black and Latino men, specifically in the areas of education, health, employment, and the justice system.

Three years after the Young Men’s Initiative launched, and reflective of the program’s success, President Barack Obama launched My Brother’s Keeper, which aims to address opportunity gaps for boys and young men of color, offering support from cradle to career through young adulthood.

Bloomberg Associates – the philanthropic consulting arm of Bloomberg Philanthropies – has been working with the City of Houston, Texas, on the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance and other key partners across the country in order to tackle how school discipline practices contribute to the school-to-prison pipeline.

One of those key partners is Rev. Dr. Bryant Marks of The National Training Institute on Race and Equity at Morehouse College, whose team is providing city-wide implicit bias training for the City of Houston. Rev. Dr. Marks recently joined Mariama N’Diaye of our Bloomberg Associates team to discuss what implicit bias training entails, what implicit bias looks like in schools, and how school discipline practices contribute to the school-to-prison pipeline, and shares advice for listeners who may be beginning to identify inequities in their own communities.

In order to take the Implicit Association Test Rev. Dr. Marks refers to in this episode, please visit

You can listen to the podcast and past episodes in the following ways:

For more from our coronavirus series:

  • Sarah Burd-Sharps, the Director of Research at Everytown for Gun Safety, joined the podcast to share precautions that gun owners can take to prevent unintentional shootings during the pandemic on “The Pandemic’s Effect on Gun Violence.”
  • Tom Inglesby of the Center for Health Security at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School for Public Health spoke with Dr. Kelly Henning of Bloomberg Philanthropies about how his team uses research, data, and expert analysis to advise decision makers about public health practices to mitigate the effects of epidemics and disasters on “The Data Behind the Pandemic.”
  • World Central Kitchen CEO Nate Mook joined Bloomberg Philanthropies Senior Advisor Brynne Craig to tell us about how re-opening is shifting the organization’s work to heal and strengthen communities during times of crisis through the power of food on “Food First Responders.”
  • Mayor Jan Vapaavuori of Helsinki, Finland, sat down with Kelly Larson of our public health program to discuss “How Helsinki, Finland is Responding to COVID-19.”
  • On “Lights, Camera…Action?” Michelle King, the co-creator of “The Good Wife” and “The Good Fight,” Brooke Kennedy, executive producer of “The Good Wife” and “The Good Fight,” actress Christine Baranski, actor Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Joseph Benincasa, President and CEO of The Actors Fund, joined Bloomberg Associates Principal Katherine Oliver to share how the entertainment community has adapted to continue creating during the pandemic.
  • How Freetown, Sierra Leone is Responding to COVID-19” features Freetown Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr in conversation with Dr. Kelly Henning of our public health program about how the city is responding to the pandemic.
  • Steven Kobre, a Partner at Kobre + Kim, and Jerry DeLoach, the Head of the Cost Recovery team for the City of Atlanta, sat down with Rose Gill, a Principal at Bloomberg Associates, to share advice for city leaders managing COVID-19 federal aid on how to mitigate risks on “The Cost of Recovery for our Cities, Part 2.”
  • On “A Promising Treatment for COVID-19,” Dr. Arturo Casadevall of Johns Hopkins University spoke with Dr. Jessica Leighton of our public health team about how blood plasma from fully recovered coronavirus patients could boost the immune systems of health care responders and first responders.
  • Amanda McClelland, the Senior Vice President of Prevent Epidemics and Resolve to Save Lives at Vital Strategies, joined Dr. Jennifer Ellis, who works on our public health program, to discuss “Slowing the Spread of COVID-19 in Africa.”
  • The Cost of Recovery for Our Cities, Part 1,” features Adam Freed, a Principal at Bloomberg Associates, in conversation with Natasha Rogers, the Chief Operating Officer of the City of Newark, and Brad Gair, a principal with Witt O’Brien’s, a national emergency management consultancy, about how cities can use data to drive decision making in response to the pandemic.
  • Janette Sadik-Khan, a Principal at Bloomberg Associates and Chair of NACTO, spoke with Corinne Kisner, Executive Director of NACTO, and Mark de la Vergne, the Chief of Mobility Innovation for the City of Detroit, about transportation strategies cities across the U.S. are deploying during the pandemic on “The Intersection of COVID-19 and Transportation.”
  • Behind the Scenes of the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Tracking Map” was adapted for Follow the Data from “Public Health On Call,” a podcast created by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In the episode, we explore how the global COVID-19 dashboard was created – and how its data can help individuals and officials make informed decisions.
  • Josh Sharfstein, the vice dean for public health practice at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, spoke with Dr. Jessica Leighton of our public health program about “Responding to a Pandemic Crisis.”
  • How to Help Nonprofits Hit Hard by COVID-19” features Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, in conversation with Megan Sheekey of Bloomberg Associates about how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting social service and cultural organizations across New York City.
  • Tom Frieden, the President and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies, and former director of the CDC, joined Dr. Kelly Henning of our public health program for “’World War C’ – Us Against the Microbe,” a discussion about why focusing on low- and middle-income countries is critical to stopping the spread of the coronavirus.