To recruit Black Americans and other members of under-resourced communities into a registry for research studies.
“As a Black woman scientist, I always think about the fact that many times our voices aren’t heard,” Balls-Berry said. “I used to teach ‘Intro to Community-Engaged Research,’ and I would tell my students, ‘You drop down into the community. You ask a ton of questions. You draw some blood. You give out a few gift cards as a thank you. You write some papers. You get promoted. But you never come back to present your findings. You’ve never asked the question, ‘How can this data be used by the local community to inform policy changes in those areas?’ That’s how we don’t want to do it. We want to consider the issues around the cultural impact of the science that we’re doing. We want to apply our findings in ways that won’t cause more disparities, won’t cause stigmatization. There are human beings behind each of the numbers in a study.”