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Health Justice at Upstate

In 2018, SUNY Upstate hosted its first diversity in medicine conference, entitled Health Justice at Upstate: Breaking Down Barriers. In 2019, this new tradition continued with Health Justice at Upstate: Shifting the Power, which garnered over 250 registrants. Health Justice 2020: Visions of Equity drew in even more participants.

The Time is Now: Action for Health Equity

On January 16, 2021, our first virtual conference will take a look at the accomplishments we have made and what we have to continue to fight for. Join us, as our goal this year is to educate and prepare our attendees in what is to come. As we’ve done in previous years, we will offer the Upstate community and beyond a set of workshops and lectures that aim to address and dissect the health disparities facing our nation. More often than not, these issues stem from our nation's history of discrimination and systemic racism and drive inequalities in many facets of daily life.

To learn more or to volunteer, please contact our conference co-chairs at hjcupstate@gmail.com.


From a 2018 participant:

"Going into healthcare, I almost feel immobilized because doctors don't normally seem to have much power in terms of creating change... The keynote speaker addressed all of these structural things and ongoing projects/research that are happening."

Registration for the 2021 conference will be open soon. Please check back here for more information or follow us on Facebook at Health Justice at Upstate for updates.

Monday, January 20, 2020
9:00AM - 4:10PM

Conference schedule from 2020. Email organizers for info if you cannot access the table.
Time Session Workshops
9:00AM - 9:30AM Registration & Check-In
9:30AM - 10:00AM Breakfast
10:00AM - 10:20AM Opening Address
10:20AM - 10:25AM Break
10:25AM - 11:10AM Session A Native American Health
Sickle Cell Disease and its Inequalities
Over the BorderLine: Health Projections Living Undocumented
Addressing Disparities with Universal Healthcare
11:10AM - 11:15AM Break
11:15AM - 12:00PM Session B Infant Mortality in Minority Women
Preventing Gun Violence through Political Activism
Increasing Minority Faculty and Students
12:35PM - 1:30PM Lunch - Exhibition Hall on 1st Floor of NAB
1:05PM - 2:05PM

College of Medicine Sponsored Keynote Address

Dr. Utibe R. Essien: Bending the Arc Toward Justice in Health

2:10PM - 2:55PM Session C

Bioethics, Social Responsibility, & Immigrant Health:
Ethical Policy Advocacy for Health Professionals

Attaining Equity Through Abortion Access
The Power to Organize:
Political Action for Structural Determinants of Health
2:55PM - 3:00PM Break
3:05PM - 3:50PM Session D Balancing Academics and Activism
Building Your Path: On Getting into Medical School
Balancing a Healthcare Career and Activism
3:50PM - 4:10PM Closing Remarks

2021 speakers to be announced... check back soon!

Keynote Speakers of the Past

  • 2018: Helena B. Hansen, MD, PhD: Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, NYU School of Medicine
  • Asteir Bey, RN, IBCLC & Aimee Brill: Co-Directors, Village Birth International
  • 2020: Utibe R. Essien, MD, MPHAssistant Professor of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine; Core Investigator, Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System

Health Justice at Upstate is held annually on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The event is located in the SUNY Upstate New Academic Building, 790 Irving Ave, Syracuse, NY 13210. We recommend that attendees park at the East/West Garages at Upstate Medical University's Downtown campus (map, rates). For wheelchair-accessible parking, we recommend that you park in the East Garage and review available accessibility featuresEscorts will be available in the East Garage for anyone who may need assistance.

Health Justice Scholars

Scholarships are available for current students below the graduate level. Awards will be based on demonstrated commitment to the health professions, racial equity in medicine, and the Syracuse community. If you would like to receive an email announcement when the 2020 Health Justice Scholars application is available, please contact our Conference Chairs (Robertha Barnes, Deashia McAlpine, and Azwade Rahman) at hjcupstate@gmail.com.

2019 Health Justice Scholars:

  • Jazmine Richardson, Syracuse University
  • Rosalia Sedano, Canisius College

Health Justice Advocate

The Health Justice Advocate award is given to a community leader who is not a health professional but utilizes a “health in all policies” approach to social justice issues in Syracuse, NY, including housing, transportation, and safety/violence prevention. SUNY Upstate Medical University's mission includes serving our community, but that wouldn't be possible without our many partners. This award recognizes their contributions to improving the state of public health in Syracuse.

2019 Health Justice Advocate

2021 partners to be announced. If your community organization would like a display table at the 2021 conference, please contact our Conference Chairs at hjcupstate@gmail.com.

Tax-Deductible Gifts

Thank you for your interest in supporting the Health Justice at Upstate conference! All donations go through the Upstate Foundation to be used for Health Justice at Upstate expenditures, including the annual conference, scholarships for high school and undergraduate students, and establishing an endowed fund to ensure the program's sustainability.

To make a tax-deductible donation to the Health Justice at Upstate fund, please visit the Upstate Foundation website, select the Designation "Other", and enter "Health Justice at Upstate."

If you have donated and do not see your name or department below, please contact Conference Chairs (Robertha Barnes, Deashia McAlpine, and Azwade Rahman) at hjcupstate@gmail.com. Thank you for your generosity.

Current and Past Sponsors

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