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Racism is a Health Crisis event engages healthcare leaders and providers in conversation about important county-wide declaration

Oct 15, 2020

The Indiana University South Bend Vera Z. Dwyer College of Health Sciences Inclusive Action Advisory Council, in partnership with the IU South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center, will invite members of the Board of Health and the local health provider community for an online event, Racism is a Health Crisis, broadcast live over Zoom on October 27, 2020 from 6pm to 7:30pm.

In July of 2020, the seven members of the St. Joseph County Board of Health voted unanimously to declare racism a public health crisis. Their declaration follows similar steps from other communities, notably Milwaukee, Wisconsin in May 2019.1

Racism is a Health Crisis is a conversation between Board of Health members; IU South Bend Vera Z. Dwyer College of Health Sciences faculty, students, and staff; and health care professionals in the St. Joseph County region about what this declaration means and how it might impact the lives of people in our community.

The decree says, among its many statements, that racism adversely affects lifelong health outcomes beginning even before birth…and harms individuals and communities by causing unequal access to quality education, employment, livable wages, healthy foods, stable and affordable housing, and safe and sustainable communities.

Participants of the event will have an opportunity to learn more about the declaration and hear from local health care practitioners about how they see this impacting our local context.

The event is specifically meaningful for current students and faculty in the IU South Bend Vera Z. Dwyer College of Health; members of the South Bend community who are serving as healthcare workers and leaders; advocates and allies of social justice movements; and current high school students with an interest in a healthcare career (e.g. Washington High School medical magnet students).

Participation in the event is free, and while all members of the public are warmly invited to participate, those interested in the intersections between healthcare and social justice are especially welcome.

1Spicuzza, Mary. Racism Is a Public Health Crisis’: Milwaukee County Leaders Call for Racial Equity. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Accessed 22 Sept. 2020.

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