39th Annual Minority Health Conference
Reclaiming the Narrative
Friday, February 23, 2018
William and Ida Friday Center, Chapel Hill
This year’s theme, Reclaiming the Narrative, is based in the recognition that the world is organized by the stories we tell. Stories have the power to influence the way we view ourselves and others and have the power to shape our actions. Given this sometimes unacknowledged influence, we must ask who are the storytellers, and who benefits from these narratives. The answers to these questions can offer an understanding of how we as public health professionals can progress and push public health agendas forward in a meaningful way. This year’s theme challenges us to end perpetuation of damaging rhetoric against marginalized communities. It highlights how resilient communities have fought to speak truth to power and refused to have their voices silenced and how public health practitioners can join such efforts. By reclaiming the narrative, communities and public health practitioners can reconcile the past and present and take agency in the future to promote health for all people.
20th Annual William T. Small, Jr. Keynote Lecture: Monica Raye Simpson
Monica Raye Simpson is the Executive Director of SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective. A native of rural North Carolina, Monica has organized extensively against human rights violations, reproductive oppression, the prison industrial complex, racism and intolerance and is deeply invested in southern movement building and the fight for Black liberation. She is also committed to birth justice as a certified Doula. Monica couples her activism with her artistry and released her first live album entitled Revolutionary Love where she blends her gospel roots and her passion for social justice with deep soul to create the sound known as Revolutionary Soul. Because of her “artivism” Monica was named as a New Civil Rights Leader by Essence Magazine and chosen as one of Advocate Magazine’s 40 under 40 leaders.
7th Annual Victor J. Schoenbach Keynote Lecture: Vann R. Newkirk II, MSPH
Vann R. Newkirk II is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers politics and policy, with a focus on voting rights, civil rights, and health policy, and formerly a staff writer at Daily Kos. He also has contributed articles, essays, and photography to sites such as GQ, Gawker, Grantland, and Ebony. He now uses his analytic skills and background in statistics in nonfiction work and in multimedia projects, especially those dealing with health and health policy. Vann is also a cofounder of and contributing editor at Seven Scribes, an online magazine by young writers and artists of color. Vann resides in Hyattsville, MD with his wife and son. He is a Gillings School of Global Public Health alumnus of the Health Policy and Management Department.
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