Research Projects

Creating a Digital Social Worker for COVID-19

We are looking for a student to help us launch a website where people from a community can come to get help around mental health experiences. We plan to have a place where people can write about their daily experiences and how that impacts their emotions and mental health. We will have social work volunteers and counselors who can step in to respond and provide help where needed. We will use the website to collect narratives about daily experiences and responses that posters found useful.

Artificial Intelligence- Assisted Identification of Child Abuse and Neglect in Hospital Settings with Implications for Racial Bias Reduction and Future Interventions

Child abuse and neglect is a social problem that has reached epidemic proportions. The broad adoption of electronic health records in clinical settings offers a new avenue for addressing this epidemic. The SAFElab and Dr. Maxim Topaz from the School of Nursing at Columbia University are developing an innovative artificial intelligence system to detect and assess risk for child abuse and neglect within hospital settings that would prioritize the prevention and reduction of bias against Black and Latinx communities. 

Exploring the Online Grieving Practices of Black Youth Through Image-Focused Content

The decades-old legacies of segregation in Chicago have resulted in high rates of violence within the city’s marginalized communities. To mourn the loss of a loved one, youth have adopted innovative grieving practices. As more youth are engaged online, researchers have begun to examine how they share experiences of everyday life. However, there is a dearth of research exploring how Black youth use social media to grieve.

Racial Narratives and Mass Shooting Project

Through our lab’s interest in understanding how gang-involved youth use media and social media to express themselves, we found that the contexts of these posts were often misinterpreted, leading to real life consequences both in the legal system and in public perception. Aspects of these young people’s lives (specifically Black and Latinx youth) that did not connect to anything but violence were ignored, and their human dimensions were diminished. While our lab was doing this work, mass shootings became a central focus of the gun violence conversation in our country.