Written by Kim Furlow, communications manager for the Institute for Public Health
Beginning September 28, the Center for Community Health Partnership and Research at the Institute for Public Health and the Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences and its university partner, the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity (CRE²), invite WashU students, faculty and the greater St. Louis community to attend a unique series on racial equity. Center co-Director and Professor of Medicine, Angela L. Brown, MD, and CRE2 Director and Brown School Associate Professor, Darrell Hudson, PhD, will moderate the series.
Brown says students, faculty and the community each offer a different perspective on racial equity and she looks forward to feedback at the event(s) from each of these groups. When asked about her perspective on racial equity defined, she added, “Barriers are lifted that in particular improve outcomes for people of color, but also improve outcomes for everyone.”
“Since racial/ethnic inequities are complex and deeply entrenched, achieving equity requires collective efforts across disciplines and sectors,” said Hudson. “Our goal is to help facilitate conversations that are necessary to motivate change. We welcome all to these critical dialogues.”
Brown concurs and added, “These sessions will pick up on our sessions from last year on health equity by defining racial equity so that everyone is on the same page. It’s about setting a level foundation as the basis for moving forward in different roles.”
Hudson says, to him, equity means that “everyone has the ability to achieve their highest level of health, education, economic status, and other outcomes, regardless of race/ethnicity. To achieve equity at a population level, it is critical to accurately account for the sociohistorical, political, economic, and contextual factors that disadvantage some racial/ethnic groups, relative to others,” he added. “This allows us to develop appropriate solutions to address inequities and provide the opportunities needed to overcome barriers so that people can reach their fullest potential.”
The Collaborative Café fall series kicks off in person at Brown Lounge in Brown Hall on Sept. 28 from 12-1:30 p.m. with “Race & Equity in St. Louis Systems”. Audiences will learn the principles and foundations of the term, “racial equity”, and how clinicians, researchers, and service providers can apply these principles to practice. The September 28 panel of experts will discuss the above topics and audiences can participate in a Q&A. Panelists include:
Catalina Freixas, Associate Professor, Sam Fox School of Art and Design, Washington University in St. Louis
Jaqui Rogers, Program Manager for Organizational & Group Healing, InPower Institute
Amana Nighat Nasir, MD, Pediatric Gastroenterologist, Mercy
Save the date: November 3, for part two of the series, “Applying a Racial Equity Lens to Research,” scheduled for 10-11:30 a.m. Watch our webpage for the location and speaker details. The Health Equity series will continue into the spring 2024 semester.
“Our goal is to go beyond defining equity,” said Hudson. “We want to encourage dialogue that helps disrupt the forces responsible for inequities. There will be ample opportunity for audience members to ask questions and share their own experiences.”
The Health Equity series is presented as part of the center’s Collaborative Cafe program offering opportunities for researchers and community partners to network, share experiences, and learn from each other.