Upstate to host Health Justice conference Jan. 21
Health Justice at Upstate: Shifting the Power, a one-day event focused on health equity and racial justice issues, will be held Monday, Jan. 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in several locations throughout Upstate’s Academic Building, 766 Irving Ave. The event is part of Upstate’s celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Shifting the Power aims to identify the components necessary for racial equity, reproductive justice and improved outcomes by examining existing obstacles from individual, institutional and systemic perspectives.
Sydney Russell Leed, conference co-director and MD/MPH student at Upstate, says the goal of the conference is to empower new health activists “to take meaningful action against the social and structural barriers to health faced by our patients and ourselves. We hope to bring together diverse perspectives and skillsets so we may learn from each other.”
Experts will offer educational breakout sessions and interactive workshops throughout the day highlighting issues including refugee health, the health effects of inequality, Native American healthcare, and healthcare in our prison system—with an emphasis on equitable collaboration with grassroots organizations.
“Our goals include providing health care professionals with tools to identify and address racial socioeconomic disparities in health care and understand how they negatively affect health outcomes and patient treatment, increasing engagement between Upstate students and community organizations, and inspiring future healthcare professionals to engage in health care advocacy work” says conference co-director and medical student Adaobi Ikpeze, BSN, RN.
Asteir Bey, RN, IBCLC, and Aimee Brill, community doulas and co-directors of Village Birth International, will present Reclaiming Health Justice: Discovering Solutions Through a Human Rights Framework, a keynote address focusing on infant and maternal mortality among black women.
Other speakers include: Yolanda Brown, FNP, Onondaga County Justice Center; Sipho Mbuqe, PhD, Upstate’s Student Counseling Service; Ursula Rozum, Upstate Organizer for the Physicians for a National Health Program; Brian Thompson, MD, assistant professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and assistant dean for Diversity and Inclusion; and Nakeia Chambers, MSEd, diversity initiatives specialist at Upstate.