Agenda

Friday

6-7:30 PM | Check-In (LOCATION EMERSON 104)
7:30 PM | Opening Remarks
7:40 PM | Screening of Unnatural Causes: When the Bough Breaks (LOCATION: EMERSON 105)
8:10 PM | Discussion with Heavenly Mitchell, Boston Public Health Commission, led by Dr. J. Alexis Abrams, University of Maryland

Saturday (LOCATION: NORTHWEST LABS, 52 OXFORD STREET, CAMBRIDGE, MA)

Morning/Afternoon
8:30 AM | Breakfast and Check-In
9:00 AM | Opening Remarks
9:10 AM | Keynote: Mary Bassett, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
9:50 AM | Panel: Prison System Healthcare
10:50 AM | TED-Style Talk: Dr. Nancy Krieger, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
11:15 AM | Coffee Break
11:25 AM | TED-Style Talk: Dr. Madina Agénor, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (open to all Harvard students)
11:50 AM | Panel: Who and How: Sexual Health Activism for Our Most Underserved Communities (open to all Harvard students)
12:50 PM | Lunch
2:00 PM | TED-Style Talk: Dr. Joan Reede, Harvard Medical School
2:25 PM | Panel Session: 1) Working While Black: Black Health Professionals; 2) Bridging the Gaps: A Discussion of Medical-Legal Partnerships; 3) Zip Code vs. Genetic Code: Social Determinant of Health
3:25 PM | Keynote: Harriet Washington, Author

Evening
5:30 PM | Afrobeat Fit SWEAT Session (QUAD REC CENTER, 66 GARDEN CENTER, CAMBRIDGE, MA)
8:30 PM | Open Mic (LOCATION: LEVERETT LIBRARY THEATER, 28 DEWOLFE STREET, CAMBRIDGE, MA)

Sunday (LOCATION: NORTHWEST LABS, 52 OXFORD STREET, CAMBRIDGE, MA)

9:30 AM | Breakfast
10:00 AM | Day 2 Remarks
10:10 AM | Keynote: Dr. Michelle Williams, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
10:25 AM | Workshop Session 1: 1) Mental Health in the Black Community; 2) No Nutrition in the Land of Plenty: How Food Deserts Leave Communities Devoid of Fruits and Vegetables, and How We Can Help; 3) Think Outside the Book: Integrating Technology and Community Empowerment into Health Education
12:00 PM | Lunch
1:30 PM | Workshop Session 2: 1) Achieving Health Equity through Policy; 2) The Importance of Self-Care
3:00 PM | Closing Remarks

Panel Topics

PRISON SYSTEM HEALTHCARE
An oft-cited statistic is that one out of every 3 Black men in America will be incarcerated at some point in their lifetime, compared to one in every 17 white men. The fact that mass incarceration has targeted predominantly Black people is especially troubling for the issue of Black health, given the poor medical facilities often made available to inmates. This panel will investigate the topic of prison health and the physical and mental health care that inmates are offered within correctional facilities. It will look into some of the steps that have already been taken to improve prison health, and what can continue to be done to address the lack of care that so many inmates (a disproportionate number of whom are Black) receive for their illnesses.
Featuring: Robert Greifinger, MD, Correctional Health Policy Consultant | Nicole Austin-Hillery, Director and Counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice, D.C. Office | Terry-Ann Craigie, PhD, Economics Fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice
 

WHO AND HOW: SEXUAL HEALTH ACTIVISM FOR OUR MOST UNDERSERVED COMMUNITIES
The black community is disproportionately affected by teenage pregnancies and STIs. Black mothers display some of the highest abortion rates in the nation. Limited access to affordable sexual health resources and education broadly characterize the roots of these issues. Sexual health activism takes many forms and often needs to be tailored to specific communities. Listen to these professionals discuss their approaches to serving their chosen communities within our community.
Featuring: Ndidi Amuta-Onukagha, PhD, MPH, Public Health Professor at Tufts University | Jennifer Driver, State Policy Director of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States | Briana Perry, State Co-Director of Healthy and Free Tennessee | Jill Smith, MHS, HIV/STI Center Project Manager at the Maryland Department of Health
 

PANEL SESSION:

WORKING WHILE BLACK: BLACK HEALTH PROFESSIONALS
Featuring Black professionals engaging in work in the healthcare sector, this panel will explore personal experiences navigating educational institutions as a Black individual, the racial dynamics present in caring for patients, and the impact of institutional systems in addressing racial disparities in healthcare.
Featuring: Sherri-Ann Burnett Bowie, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director for Multicultural Affairs for the Department of Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital | Lachelle Weeks, MD, Internal Medicine Resident at Brigham and Women's Hospital | Valerie Stone, MD, MPH, Chair of the Department of Medicine at Mount Auburn Hospital, Charles S. Davidson Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School
 

BRIDGING THE GAPS: A DISCUSSION OF MEDICAL-LEGAL PARTNERSHIPS
Medical-legal partnerships serve as an innovative solution to addressing harmful social conditions. They allow doctors to help their patients with issues such as housing or economic insecurity by connecting them with legal aid. This panel will discuss the challenges and rewards that come with establishing these partnerships with individuals who are active in the field.
Featuring: Dayna Matthew, JD, Professor at University of Virginia School of Law | Tomar Pierson Brown, JD, LLM, Professor at University of Pittsburgh School of Law | Jennifer Valenzuela, Principal, Program Department of HealthLeads
 

ZIP CODE VS. GENETIC CODE: SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH
Exploring the idea that your zip code is a better predictor of health outcomes than your genetic code, this panel tackles how living in low-income neighborhoods affects one’s heath and access to healthcare resources. Extending far beyond a lack of access to clinical facilities, this phenomenon encompasses issues related to food, exercise, education, safety, and transportation.
Featuring: Nancy Krieger, PhD, Professor of Social Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health | Melody Goodman, PhD, Associate Professor of Biostatistics at NYU, Interim Chair of Biostatistics at NYU |Dr. Reginald Tucker Seeley, ScD, Edward L. Schneider Assistant Professor of Gerontology, Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, University of Southern California | Ra' Shaun Nalls, Director of Community Engagement at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion

 

Workshop Topics

WORKSHOP SESSION 1:

MENTAL HEALTH IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY
This workshop will explore the complex experience of black mental health. Participants will confront the ways in which they have personally seen or experienced instances of mental health disparities in medicine and public policy. Participants will then address how to tackle these disparities in their personal lives and the community.
Featuring: Alfiee Breland Noble, PhD, Senior Scientific Advisor for The Steve Fund
 

NO NUTRITION IN THE LAND OF PLENTY: HOW FOOD DESERTS LEAVE COMMUNITIES DEVOID OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES, AND HOW WE CAN HELP
Limited access and affordability of nutritious food is rather paradoxical in the country of plenty, aka United States. It comes as no surprise that minorities have a disproportionate affinity to food deserts. In this workshop, we will discuss the issue in detail with a final goal of collectively coming up with new strategies to improve our food environment for all.
Featuring: Roger Figueroa, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health | Begum Kalyoncu, PhD Student and Fulbright Fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOOK: INTEGRATING TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT INTO HEALTH EDUCATION
Health education can have a dramatic effect on lifelong behavior patterns and must be properly integrated into the lives of children. This workshop will analyze the existing health education system and explore different manners of incorporating community organizing and technology into educational interventions in the classroom and beyond.
Featuring: Ursula August, Research Assistant at the Harvard Graduate School of Education | Sunny Williams, Co-founder of Tinydocs
 

WORKSHOP SESSION 2:

ACHIEVING HEALTH EQUITY THROUGH POLICY
Access to quality housing, education, and health insurance are all determined by the regulations put in place by our governing bodies. This workshop will explore the effects of specific policies at both the local and national levels, as well as ways in which to advocate for change.

Featuring: Lydia Isaac, PhD, MSc, Associate Research Professor at the George Washington Milken Institute School of Public Health

THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-CARE
Self-care, though often neglected, offers a simple way to stay emotionally and physically healthy. This workshop discusses why self-care is vital to the Black community and how you can begin to incorporate self-care practices into your life.
Featuring: Minaa B, Mental Health Consultant and Founder of Respect Your Struggle 
 

REINVENTING HEALTHCARE AND WELLNESS: CREATING INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS FOR HISTORICALLY UNDER-RESOURCED COMMUNITIES
Description coming soon.
Featuring: Medell Briggs-Malonson, MD, MPH, MSHS, Founder and CEO of IPA Healthcare Solutions

This workshop will be a discussion of the process to build the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital in South LA/Watts/Compton area and Dr. Briggs-Malonson's work. Attendees will  investigate the process to improve health delivery services for marginalized communities and outline the potential challenges.

SATURDAY EVENING WORKSHOP

AFROBEAT FIT SWEAT Session
Afrobeat is a style of music incorporating elements of jazz, soul, and funk from the different countries of West Africa. In this one-hour SWEAT session, we encourage you to get active through dance and music from great African artists and influencers!
Featuring: Kemi Omisore, MPA, Owner, Choreographer and Sweat Coach of Afrobeat Fit

 

Keynote and TED-Style Speakers

Keynote
MARY BASSETT,
 MD, MPH, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Title of Talk: "Structural Racism and Health: From Evidence to Action"
The talk “Structural Racism and Health: From Evidence to Action” will explore the relationship between structural racism and health outcomes and how if we fail to explicitly talk about racism and health, especially at this time of public dialogue about race relations, we may unintentionally bolster the status quo enabling the perpetuation of health inequities, even as society is calling for change.
 

TED-Style Talk
NANCY KRIEGER, PhD, Professor of Social Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Title of Talk: "Scientific racism, embodiment & fighting for health equity: Black Health Matters"
The 20-minute presentation will address the long history of scientific racism & the equally long history of challenges to scientific racism, with reference to the present context, and include empirical examples of my own work investigating the impact of racism on health, using measures of exposure at multiple levels (structural to individual), across time (including in relation to the past & continued impact of Jim Crow), and across the lifecourse, in relation to such outcomes as premature mortality (death before age 65), police killings, infant mortality, preterm delivery, and breast cancer.


TED-Style Talk
MADINA AGÉNOR, ScD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Title of Talk:  Black LGBTQ Health Matters: Social Determinants of Black Lesbian, Bisexual, and Queer Women's Sexual Health

This presentation will address how race/ethnicity and racism, gender and gender-based discrimination, sexual orientation and heterosexism, and social class intersect to shape the health and health care experiences of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) populations. After providing an overview of intersectionality, Dr. Agénor will review the current state of knowledge on the social determinants of Black LGBTQ health and provide examples from her own research on the sexual health of Black lesbian, bisexual, and queer women in the United States. 

TED-Style Talk
JOAN REEDE, MD, MS, MPH, MBA, Dean for Diversity and Community Partnership at Harvard Medical School

Title of Talk: "Striving for Equity and Social Justice"
 

Keynote
HARRIET WASHINGTON, Author of Medical Apartheid and Deadly Monopolies

Title of Talk: "'A Hideous Monster of the Mind': Racial Demonization, Force and Medical Slander in Public Life"
“The Negro “with us” is not an actual physical being of flesh and bones and blood, but a hideous monster of the mind, ugly beyond all physical portraying, so utterly and ineffably monstrous as to frighten reason from its throne, and justice from its balance, and mercy from its hallowed temple, and to blot out shame and probity, and the eternal sympathies of nature, so far as these things have presence in the breasts or being of American republicans! No sir! It is a constructive Negro—a John Roe and Richard Doe Negro, that haunts with grim presence the precincts of this republic, shaking his gory locks over legislative halls and family prayers.”
—James McCune Smith, M.D.
James McCune Smith, the first African American to earn an MD—from the University of Glasgow—perceived that demonization must precede the rampant abuse under which black Americans of the antebellum era suffered. The medical demonization rationalized enslavement, force and torture in the medical arena as it did in other aspects of American life. I will show how this was effected in the past and how the same animus threatens Americans of color today.