Aerial view of Graduate School and Nursing building.

Black Lives Matter in Research

The 4th Annual Virtual Symposium: Transforming the Health Research Landscape for Justice and Equity
November 8th-9th, 2023


Keynote Speakers

Dr. David S. Kountz – Chief Academic Officer and Vice President, Academic Diversity for Hackensack Meridian Health

Dr. Ndidiamaka Amutah-Onukagha – Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, and Julia A. Okoro Professor of Black Maternal Health at Tufts University

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DAY 1, November 8th

  • 12:00-12:15pm – Opening Remarks, Moderated by Dr. Kirk A. Johnson
  • 12:15-1:15pm: Keynote Presentation – Dr. David S. Kountz
    • Diversity in Research:  Challenging Assumptions Regarding Minority Participation
  • 1:30-2:30pm: Student Panel Discussion – Navigating Health Science Research as a Graduate Student
  • 2:30-3:00pm: BREAK
  • 3:00-4:00pm: Unpacking the Day 

DAY 2, November 9th

  • 12:00-12:15pm – Opening Remarks, Moderated by Dr. Jason Williams
  • 12:15-1:15pm: Keynote Presentation – Dr. Ndidiamaka Amutah-Onukagha
    • Black Women and Maternal Health Inequities: Addressing the Role of Racism
  • 1:30-2:30pm: Panel Discussion – IRB Process for Reviewing Health Research with an Inclusive Lens
  • 2:30-3:00pm: BREAK
  • 3:00-4:00pm: Unpacking the Day
Speaker Bios

A graduate of Princeton University, SUNY/Buffalo School of Medicine (MD) and Georgian Court University (MBA), Dr. David S. Kountz holds state and national leadership roles in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and graduate medical education. After 11 years at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, he joined (then) Meridian Health in 2007. Over the past 16 years he has overseen the expansion of DEI and graduate medical education. In 2018, he was named founding Senior Associate Dean for the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine and, in 2023, was named Chief Academic Officer for the health network. Dr. Kountz has research and educational interests including pathway programs for students underrepresented in medicine; leadership development; and hypertension and related disorders in underserved populations. He has been recognized as a Master Educator at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and in 2022 was named a Master of the American College of Physicians. He is an “African American Leader in Healthcare to Know” by Becker’s Hospital Review and “one of New Jersey’s Most Influential DEI Leaders” by ROI-NJ in 2021, 2022 and 2023. He is currently funded by the New Jersey Health Foundation to advance opportunities for students under-represented in healthcare.

Dr. Ndidiamaka Amutah-Onukagha is the Julia A. Okoro Professor of Black Maternal Health in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Amutah-Onukagha is the Founder and Director of the Center of Black Maternal Health and Reproductive Justice (CBMHRJ), and of the Maternal Outcomes of Translational Health Equity Research (MOTHER) Lab. In addition, she is the founder of the largest conference on Black maternal health in the United States held annually in April during Black maternal health week. In its 7th year, the conference attracts participants from over 46 states and 10 countries. An active scholar, Dr. Amutah-Onukagha’s research investigates maternal health disparities, infant mortality, reproductive health and social justice, and HIV/AIDS as experienced by Black women. She also serves as the inaugural Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the university’s Public Health and Professional Degree Programs. Currently, Dr. Amutah-Onukagha is the Principal Investigator of two multi-year studies on maternal mortality and morbidity, an R01 funded by National Institutes of Health and an interdisciplinary grant on maternal health equity funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Dr. Amutah-Onukagha also serves as the DEI training director for the KL2 and BIRWCH fellowship programs at the Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI).

Thank You to Our Sponsors

The 2023 Black Lives Matter in Research Virtual Symposium is sponsored by:

  • Montclair State University
    • The Office of Research Compliance
    • The College for Community Health
    • The College of Humanities and Social Sciences
    • The College for Education and Engaged Learning
    • The College of Science and Mathamatics
  • Rutgers University
    • The Office for Research
  • PRIM&R
  • Cayuse
Reference Materials
Event Cost

Registration for this event is free – Instead we ask that you consider a donation to the MSU Food Pantry:

  • If you’d like to support the on-campus food pantry, you can make your gift online. Please select “Red Hawk Pantry” on the donation form.
  • You also can choose from our Amazon Wish List. Once you have chosen items be sure to request they be delivered to the following address:
    The Red Hawk Pantry C/O Sonja Tillman
    Montclair State University
    1 Normal Ave
    Student Center Rm 104
    Montclair NJ 07043

View Past Symposiums Here: