Upcoming School of Public Health events related to diversity and inclusion.

Past Event Recordings

Justice in Public Health: Toward an Antiracist Public Health of ‘Radical Possibility’
February 21, 2024

Positivist. Reductionist. Settler-colonial. Racial-capitalist. Extractivist. Expropriative. Pathologizing. Stigmatizing. All words that describe the dominant “ritual” of racial health equity knowledge production—wherein credentialed researchers mine marginalized communities for data to (re)package and (re)distribute as their own knowledge. Unexamined in this ritual are matters of positionality, epistemic justice, and procedural justice in the production and curation of knowledges/narratives about health in communities of color. In the US, this production is dominated and curated mostly by White scholars—from tenure-track faculty positions, to funding review panels, to editorial boards, to peer-review bodies. In short, the public health knowledge production and curation enterprise is structurally racist, and it is time that we confront the inherent contradictions of a health equity discourse that fails to interrogate the racialized knowledge/power dynamics that animate it. Moreover, it is time that we remix the canon and forge a future field capable of doing our health narratives epistemic (and poetic) justice.

Justice in Public Health: Abolition for Public Health 
January 18, 2024

Our presenters, Andrea Pérez-Maikkula (she/her/ella) and Jason Marque Sole (he/they) will have a conversation about the history of abolition, what is it and why it’s needed, and why public health practitioners should have an abolitionist mindset. Andrea holds an MPH from the University of Puerto Rico and currently serves as the Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging at the Minnesota State Retirement System. Jason Marque Sole is a formerly incarcerated abolitionist, adjunct professor at Hamline University in the Criminal Justice and Forensic Science Department, co-founder of Humanize My Hoodie, and conductor of the Institute of Aspiring Abolitionists.

Justice in Public Health: Is the U.S. Opioid Epidemic a White Problem? Stories of the Black Experience in Minnesota
December 8, 2023

Opioid overdose now kills more Americans a year than vehicle crashes and homicides combined. Death rates are sharply rising in all social groups but nowhere faster than in Black and African Americans. These disparities can be traced to America’s racialized response to this epidemic, including the far lower likelihood of Black patients receiving medications to treat opioid addiction than white counterparts. To better understand this phenomenon from the community perspective, we partnered with African American Survivor Services to conduct qualitative interviews with the Black recovery community of the Twin Cities. Preliminary results will be co-presented with Ivan Nelson, Executive Director of African American Survivor Services.

Justice in Public Health: Climate Justice and Health Equity within Indigenous Communities 
October 10, 2023 

Hear SPH’s new Assistant Professor in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences, Kyle X. Hill present his research on climate change and health equity within Indigenous Communities. Racism and climate change have disproportionate effects on the lives of minoritised people both within countries and between the Global North and the Global South. Dr. Hill’s research aims to address this through three main aims:  Show the unequal health impacts of climate change due to racism, xenophobia, and discrimination. Highlight inequalities in responsibility for climate change and the effects thereof.  Highlight the pathways through which climate change, discrimination, and health interact in most affected areas.

Justice in Public Health: White to White: Dismantling White Supremacy from Within 
June 27, 2023

We will not achieve the goal of dismantling white supremacy without white people working together to understand how white supremacy and racial bias are defining characteristics of our whiteness. In this work, white people must engage with BIPOC and white individuals and communities. However, white people learning about and discussing whiteness can elicit fear, anger, confusion, denial, shame, blame, and the “good white/bad white” dynamic.  This presentation by Sky Jarvi will explore how white people can engage from within – within ourselves and within our own white communities.

Justice in Public Health: Environmental Justice: The next Frontier of Social Justice 
May 22, 2023

Catherine Coleman Flowers unearths America’s dirty secret in her talks about environmental justice, touching on one of the least discussed forms of inequality – equal access to water and sanitation. As Catherine shares, these issues are often “out of sight, out of mind” for most of the United States, but they need our attention. Flowers draws audiences in with her in-depth knowledge at the intersection of environmental issues and systemic race, class, and geographic prejudice.

Justice in Public Health: Design Justice
March 22, 2023

Sasha Costanza-Chock (she/they/ella/elle) is a researcher and designer who works to support community-led processes that build shared power, dismantle the matrix of domination, and advance ecological survival. They are a nonbinary trans* femme. Sasha is known for their work on networked social movements, transformative media organizing, and design justice.

Justice in Public Health: Living, Working and Thriving with a Chronic Illness
December 7, 2022

During this event, Imani Barbarin explores the realities of navigating work while living with a chronic illness and/or a disability, how to advocate for yourself while achieving your work goals and how companies can create a work environment that supports every body.

Justice in Public Health: Transgender Justice: Highs and Lows in 2022
November 10, 2022

During this presentation, Trystan Reese discusses the intersections between transgender justice and public health that have emerged in 2021 and 2022.

Justice in Public Health: Advancing Racial Justice and Health Equity through Civic Engagement
October 18, 2022

During this presentation, Ms. Hunter will discuss current research and trends in addressing racism as a public health issue and explore civic engagement as one strategy to achieve health and racial equity.

Justice in Public Health: Unapologetically Latino Disrupting Systems of Oppression
September 27, 2022

During this presentation, Dr. Rodriguez-Diaz will discuss health inequities affecting Latino populations and will describe the interventions and research that he has developed to create more equitable public health conditions.

Justice in Public Health: Racism, not Race 
April 7, 2022

Hear a discussion from the authors of Racism not Race, Joseph L. Graves Jr. and Alan H. Goodman. The two distinguished scientists will discuss the findings highlighted in their book about the common misconceptions about race, human biology, and racism and how this relates to public health.

Justice in Public Health: Policing, Incarceration, and Immigration Enforcement: What’s public health got to do with it?
March 16, 2022

A 90-minute lecture and discussion that covers a high-level overview of the health research on the criminal, legal and immigration systems, as well as current abolitionist advocacy and organizing to improve individual, family, and community health.

Justice in Public Health: Redefining Gendered Violence: Daily Interactions as Oppression
March 3, 2022

The way violence is generally defined, especially by legal and criminal justice systems, is limited. It fails to properly count, explain or provide solutions to violence. In a talk based on their first book Everyday Violence: The Public Harassment of Women and LGBTQ People, Dr. Simone Kolysh relies on the sociology of gender and sexuality, LGBTQ studies, intersectionality, and urban sociology to rethink violence as both a continuum and pervasive across society.

Justice in Public Health: Engaging Research from Scholars of Color
February 4, 2022

In this interactive presentation session, attendees will learn the following from a public health lens: (1) the impact of citational inequity and content erasure; (2) examples of contemporary movements to increase citational equity; and (3) Articulate opportunities to improve and center a range of diverse people and voices in research, writing, and course development.

Justice in Public Health: CRT, Declarations of Racism as a Public Health Crisis, and Public Health
January 27, 2022

Critical race theory has recently received a lot of attention from both its critics and advocates. This session will cover some of the core insights offered by critical race theorists, drawing on examples impacting the health and well-being of people of color.

Justice in Public Health: Acknowledging the Land
November 11, 2021

Incorporating land acknowledgements into spoken and written word is a powerful way to honor native land, and is “a step toward correcting the stories and practices that erase Indigenous people’s history and culture and toward inviting and honoring the truth.” (Honor Native Land)

Justice in Public Health: At the heart — Racial and gender justice in cardiovascular health
October 8, 2021

Health disparities in the African American community are particularly stark when it comes to heart disease. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, Minnesota’s African American adults aged 35-64 die from heart disease at approximately two times the rate of their white counterparts.

Disparities in COVID-19: Social Justice, Policy and Ethical Considerations in Vaccinating the U.S. Population
April 16, 2021

Keynote speakers Rachel Hardeman, Camara Phyllis Jones, and Michael Osterholm, have a timely conversation, moderated by Jaime Slaughter-Acey, exploring COVID-19 policy considerations and vaccination strategies through a lens of social justice and structural racism.

Activism in All Spaces: Finding Your Place in the Movement
Sep 29, 2020

In the midst of a pandemic and several other public health crises, we all want to do something. As graduate students, public health practitioners, or even parents, it can be challenging to see where you can make a difference. However, we all have a role to play. Environmental activist and advocate Janiece Watts will lead a conversation on finding our role in justice movements.

EpiCH Seminar – Structural Racism, Health Inequities, and the Role of Health Care
July 31, 2020

Hosted by the SPH Division of Epidemiology and Community Health

It is clear that in order to eliminate the pervasive racial health inequities we see in Minnesota, institutions – including health care systems – need to name and work to dismantle structural racism. In a recent study completed for United States of Care, we worked with an advisory group to develop a framework for health care to do work within their systems and in partnership with others to eliminate inequities.

Strengthening Our Community in Light of Tragedy
June 5, 2020

Hosted by the SPH Division of Epidemiology and Community Health

Our community, and specifically the African American community, is grieving in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder by police. We offer condolences to Mr. Floyd’s family, his friends, and to all in our SPH community and those around us who carry the disproportionate pain and burden of police violence and structural racism.

This webinar brings us together to discuss George Floyd’s death, the actions of police in Black communities, and our roles as agents of change in public health and the community. Drs. Rhonda Jones-Webb and Sonya Brady share their work on improving relations between police and young Black men. They are joined by Phyllis Thomas, Study Coordinator for the ARIC Study, and Tricia Alexander, Public Health Nutrition MPH student, for discussion moderated by Dr. Jaime Slaughter-Acey.

Beyond the Pale: Examining the Role Racism Plays in Research
April 12, 2019

Hosted by the SPH EDIT Team

This is a panel discussion on the past, present, and future of race and racism in medical research. The event was sponsored by EDIT (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Team), which chose Bad Blood as their book club read for the spring 2019 semester. The book focuses on the infamous Tuskegee experiments and set the scene for the discussion. Panelists included Micheal Oakes, Chris Warlick, and Fareed Awan.

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