​  Data Justice Scholars on a tour of Deloitte in summer 2022  ​
Data Justice Scholars on a tour of Deloitte in summer 2022.

The Data Justice Academy

The Data Justice Academy is an immersive residential experience for undergraduate students from groups historically underrepresented in data science. The summer program welcomes a cohort of students to the University of Virginia to participate in ten weeks of mentored research, technical skills training, and professional development. Hosted by UVA's School of Data Science, the 2022 and 2023 Data Justice Academy were made possible by support from program sponsors Capital One and Deloitte AI Institute for Government. 

Mentored Research

Academy participants work on Data for Good research projects that are oriented toward improving lives, combatting inequality, and guiding social change. Project topics have included health disparities, housing inequality, criminal justice, education, and government. Projects are mentored by UVA faculty and graduate students. At the end of the summer, teams  present their research findings to corporate sponsors in an open forum platform with accompanying paper, and datasets.    

Technical Skills Training

To support students in their development as data scientists, the program includes technical skills training in topics that  support their research projects. These events take the form of lectures or workshops in Python, R, version control (Git), and project management taught by School of Data Science faculty and researchers.

Data Ethics and Justice Seminar

Participants participate in a seminar on data ethics and justice, including topics on algorithmic bias, privacy, and data activism. The seminar prepares participants to challenge the harms and inequalities that often accompany technological change. 

Career Exploration

Academy participants benefit from hands-on career exploration and workshops, including panel discussions on data science career pathways and job search best practices.

Relationship Building

Participants expand their social and professional networks through a cohort experience and tap into the UVA School of Data Science community, industry partners, and a dedicated alumni network. Participants have structured and informal opportunities to connect with faculty and staff, members of the Charlottesville community, and corporate sponsors. Programming includes dinners, fieldtrips, networking events, and other activities.

Personal Development

In addition to career and professional development, participants are encouraged to identify their strengths and values that will support their growth and confidence as a data scientist.