Vision: The National Data Science Alliance (NDSA) will increase the number of Blacks earning data science credentials (e.g., major, minor, certificate, or postbaccalaureate) by at least 20,000 and create equitable data science research, techniques, and models.


Mission: Expand data science research and education at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and develop a national network of HBCUs with industry, government, and academic collaboration to transform data science discoveries into tangible societal benefits that advance equity for all

Understanding the Mission

Fisk University, a historically black college located in Nashville, Tennessee, has received a National Data Science Alliance Grant (Award #2217346) to help increase the number of black data scientists in the field. This grant will provide the university with the resources needed to develop a program that will provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in this rapidly growing field. Data science is one of the fastest-growing and highest-paying fields in the world today. As the amount of data generated by businesses, governments, and individuals continues to increase, the demand for skilled data scientists has skyrocketed. Unfortunately, the field has historically been dominated by white males, leaving little room for women and minorities, including black people. 

The National Data Science Alliance (NDSA) is a coalition of more than 100 Historically Black College Universities committed to the long-term to enhance the proportion of Black people who achieve data science credentials, such as minors, certifications, and degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate levels. The NDSA has awarded grants in recent years to fund studies into Data Science stewardship. Fisk University was awarded this grant to help fund its study in this area.

With a long and rich history of standards and methodologies, Fisk University has led the way both in research and innovation. The university's history as well as the African American experience more widely are both extensively documented in its educational digital legacy. The grant will allow the school to conduct a thorough evaluation of its digital resources, considering both its current condition and the procedures required to assure its long-term retention. Increasing the accessibility of the Data Science curriculum is one of the grant's main goals. The HBCUs are in the states of Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Texas. They will be guided by the newly appointed Data Science Program Coordinator, Sydnie Davis. The increased interest in artificial intelligence, and computer programming, and the demand for more representation of black voices in the digital space, this is especially crucial.

Learn More About National Data Science Alliance

Our Region Serves the Follow Institutions:

American Baptist College
Fisk University- South Central Hub
Lane College
LeMoyne Owen College
Meharry Medical College
Tennessee State University

Langston University

Dillard University
Grambling State University
Southern University and A&M College
Southern University New Orleans
Southern University
Xavier University

Kentucky State University
Simmons College of Kentucky

Huston-Tillotson University
Jarvis Christian College
Paul Quinn College
Prairie View A&M University
Southwestern Christian College
St. Philip's College
Texas College
Texas Southern University
Wiley College

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
Arkansas Baptist College
Philander Smith University
Shorter College

Harris-Stowe State University
Lincoln University

Dr. Sajid Hussain is the Associate Provost for Research, Innovation, and Technology and Discipline Coordinator of Data Science, Fisk University. Hussain will organize initiatives with other hub leads and as the Co-PI of the Fisk-PI project, optimizing organizational and geographic coverage, and strengthening networking and programming to support NDSA targets. In addition, Hussain and other PI/Co-PIs are responsible for the implementation of the project's data management plan nationwide. In the South-Central region of the United States, he is responsible for hiring academics, staff, and administrators at 30 historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) spread across seven states. Also, he will establish regional outreach initiatives and programming, among other projects and operations. Click here to learn more about Dr. Hussain


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 2217346. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.