Annual Symposium

The Center for Anti-racism, Social Justice, & Public Health is hosting its second annual symposium,  "Amplifying Health Equity and Social Justice in Our Communities". This year will focus on amplifying the impact of our work within the communities that need it most. We have an amazing agenda filled with panels, a seminar, a poster session, and a voter registration booth. Join us in person or virtually for another amazing year! 


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Welcome Lunch and Voter Registration Booth: 12:00 PM- 12:30 PM

Join us for a welcome and lunch. We will also have a voter registration booth for those who still need to register to vote in the upcoming election!

Global Yet Domestic: Advancing Health Equity in the U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States: 12:30 PM- 1:40 PM

Moderated by Dr. José Pagán (NYU GPH) 

Public health equity efforts in the U.S. often narrowly focus on the experiences of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., with less attention dedicated to places that exist at the intersection of global and domestic health. This is the case for the U.S. territories (T; Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands) and the freely associated states (FAS; Republic of the Marshall Islands, Republic of Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia). Unique challenges emerge when working to advance health equity in these spaces, including limitations surrounding the availability of health data, a lack of parity in federal health care funding, and significant restrictions on workforce capacity. Federal, nonprofit, and academic partners have a role to play in supporting T/FAS health equity efforts. Our proposed panel session will consist of experts across these sectors, including representatives from a non-profit public health organization (Alex Wheatley, Director of Island Support, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials); an academic researcher (Anna-Michelle McSorley, NYU School of Global Public Health); a public health and health care policy expert (José Pagán, NYU School of Global Public Health); and a health leader from a federal/territorial public health agency (Dr. Janis Valmond, US Virgin Islands Health Department). The session will introduce audiences to some of the most pressing T/FAS health challenges and enumerate active efforts to advance health equity in the T/FAS. Participants will leave this 50-minute session with concrete action items to support active health equity efforts in the T/FAS.

The Need for First-Person Anti-Racism Mental Health Wellness Programs in Higher Education: 1:45 PM- 2:45 PM

By Dr. Naomi Zack (CUNY Lehman) 

One in five Americans has mental health problems, and racial minorities are underserved. Racist beliefs and speech, and discriminatory action, as well as structural racism, injure the mental health of racial minorities in well-documented measurements. There is a shortage of qualified therapists, counselors, and psychiatrists, and insurance funding constraints; plus, private services are expensive. However, existing mental health practitioner directives, the vast white anti-racist literature, and nonwhite anti-racist liberatory writing focus on third-person approaches to correcting racism and its effects. Left out is the subjective experience of race-based mental health injuries and its inside-out treatment by racial minorities themselves. Altogether, it is, therefore, time to focus on empirically based “self-help” practices.

Cultivating a Just Food System: 2:50 PM- 4:00 PM

Moderated by Dr. Brennan Rhodes-Bratton 

Food, a linchpin of society and health, extends its influence far beyond sustenance. Engaging in a discourse on nutrition equity promises a rich and impactful dialogue with esteemed policy advocates, social scientists, and junior scholars. The focus is on unraveling the concept of a "just food system" and navigating the path to its realization. The panel boasts fo accomplished experts in food policy, agriculture, and community-based initiatives, enhancing the conversation on cardio-metabolic health and nutrition equity. Engaging with scientists ensures an evidence-based perspective, deepening the understanding of the intricate relationship between food, health, and societal structures. Scientific insights form the foundation for crafting interventions and policies promoting nutrition equity, bridged into action by advocates. Including junior scholars injects fresh perspectives and innovative ideas, propelling the evolution of strategies for achieving nutrition equity. This diverse conversation holds the potential to steer towards a healthier, more equitable future for all.

Networking Reception & Pilot Grant Poster Session: 4:00 PM- 5:00 PM

This is an opportunity to network with all our speakers and others in attendance. This session will also feature posters from NYU GPH faculty who received pilot grants for projects focused on anti-racism, social justice, and public health. This will also be another chance to register to vote before the booth closes.