CUTC - Council of University Transportation Centers


A webinar series on equity and
the Black experience in transportation
hosted by the Council of University
Transportation Centers

About the webinar series

TIDE stands for Transparency, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity, and will focus on Black issues because of unique historical circumstances and the current national discussion. The series will enhance awareness of the challenges faced by our Black colleagues in the transportation field. By creating an opportunity for learning and dialogue, it is hoped that this series will result in a greater understanding of the Black experience in transportation, and provide ways in which the CUTC community can make our profession a more open and inclusive place for our Black students and colleagues.

How can we change the TIDE (Transparency, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity) in transportation, and improve the overall climate of our profession?

The nation has seen an upheaval in race relations and perceived biases in law enforcement and other aspects of life in recent times. There are strong arguments being made to justify the many actions and reactions on the part of government, private citizens, as well as various advocacy groups for Black people.

Transportation as an industry is not immune to the happenings in the country. In fact, one of the early triggers of the Civil Rights movement happened in the transportation industry (Rosa Parks). Since then, transportation and Civil Rights/Social Justice have been strongly linked to each other. It is our goal thus, as a community of transportation scholars, to discuss and address these societal issues when possible. Some of the problems such as access to jobs, access to food and healthcare, transit deserts, and spatial mismatch have all been studied by scholars over the last few decades. Solutions to these problems have been explored both from the technological perspective as well as the policy side.

While technology is advancing at a rapid pace and the introduction of new and emerging transportation technologies is happening all around us, there is a sense that the impact is not ubiquitous to all sections of society. On a different dimension, questions pertaining to equal representation in the workforce from different sections of society regardless of race, religion, gender, or sexual preference still persist.

Steering Committee

This effort is led by a Steering Committee made up of Dr. Carol Abel Lewis of Texas Southern University, Mr. Juan Matute of UCLA, and Dr. Camille Kamga of the City University of New York, who have provided vision, guidance and direction for co-chairs Dr. P.S. Sriraj of the University of Illinois-Chicago and Dr. Melissa Tooley of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. Dr. Chandra Bhat of the University of Texas at Austin, and the current CUTC President, contributed to the conception of this series.

Webinar 5

June 16, 2021 @ CUTC Summer Meeting

The TIDE Series Panel: Reflections and Pathways Forward. The panel, composed of the webinar series steering committee members, reflected on the objectives of the TIDE series with the panelists offering their insights about the evolution of the series from the beginning to now.

The panelists also reflected on their personal experiences in equity and research as well as discussed potential next steps in this series for CUTC. The panel and audience members added ideas for pathways in creating a more inclusive environment and incorporating equity in transportation research moving forward for both individual researchers as well as for university transportation centers.

Moderator & Speakers

MODERATORDr. Chandra Bhat
Director, US DOT Center on Data-Supported Transportation Operations and Planning (D-STOP), The University of Texas at Austin
PANELISTDr. Carol Lewis
Emeritus Director, Center for Transportation Training & Research, Texas Southern University
Deputy Director,
UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies
PANELISTDr. Susan Shaheen
Director, Urban Transportation Center, University of Illinois at Chicago
PANELISTDr. Melissa Tooley
Director of External Initiatives, Texas A&M Transportation Institute

Webinar 4

May 20, 2021

Advancing equity in transportation research. In this webinar we discussed how transportation researchers build relationships and work with community-based organizations in marginalized communities or with people of different cultures? Listen to speakers: Dr. Tierra Bills (Assistant Professor, Wayne University), Dr. Regan Patterson (Transportation Equity Research Fellow at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation), and Dr. Susan Shaheen (Professor In-Residence, UC Berkeley) with our moderator, Juan Matute (Deputy Directory, UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies) share their experiences working with communities of color to collect travel data, co-creating research plans and work products with community-based organizations, and translating research expertise into policy change.


Moderator & Speakers

Deputy Director,
UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies
SPEAKERDr. Tierra Bills
Assistant Professor,
Wayne State University
SPEAKERDr. Regan Patterson
Transportation Equity Research Fellow at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation
SPEAKERDr. Susan Shaheen
Professor In-Residence,
UC Berkeley

Webinar 3

April 28, 2021

Changing the TIDE in Transportation – Creating a supportive environment within the transportation research community. In this webinar we discussed what  university transportation research centers can do to create supportive communities for Blacks and African Americans who wish to study transportation. Listen to our speakers: TC (Thomas Carter, Assistant Dean, Academics and Student Affairs, University of Arkansas, Engineering) and Hau Hagedorn (Associate Director, Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC), Portland State University) and our moderator: Carol Lewis (Director Center for Transportation Training & Research, Texas Southern University) as they talk about mentoring, recruitment, and ongoing retention and development programs that provide support for underrepresented students studying transportation.


Moderator & Speakers

Director Center for Transportation Training & Research,
Texas Southern University
SPEAKERTC (Thomas Carter, III)
Assistant Dean, Academics and Student Affairs
University of Arkansas (Engineering)
SPEAKERHau Hagedorn
Associate Director
Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC)
Portland State University

Webinar 2

April 7, 2021

Black Americans in Transportation. The first webinar in the TIDE series featured a panel of national leaders who talked about their lived-in experiences in society and in their careers as a Black individual. This webinar focused on defining the problem as it pertains to Black Americans in Transportation. The panel discussed issues in furthering Equity and Inclusion, and actions that are being taken at the Federal level through modal administrations and through TRB. We had over 225 participants. Thank you for being part of this important conversation.


Moderator & Speakers

TRB Director of Technical Activities
SPEAKERBradley Mims
FAA Deputy Administrator
SPEAKERWarren Whitlock
FHWA’s Office of Civil Rights under Obama Administration

Webinar 1

February 22, 2021

In the inaugural session of the series, recognized thought leaders from industry, government and academia will laid the foundation for this webinar series, sharing their experiences and thoughts with attendees. Your questions aided in identifying topics for discussion in our next webinars.

Thank you for being a part of this important conversation. 

Moderator & Speakers

MODERATORNeil Pedersen
Executive Director, Transportation Research Board
SPEAKERDorval Carter, Jr.
President, Chicago Transit Authority
SPEAKERJacqueline (Jacky) Grimshaw
Center for Neighborhood Technology
SPEAKERGreg Winfree
Agency Director, Texas A&M Transportation Institute