Thinking critically about inequities: Highlights from APHA

printer friendlyprinter friendly

This year's annual American Public Health Association conference was filled with folks thinking critically about the inequities facing our society and proposing creative ways to address them. It was held in Washington, D.C., with the city's fall colors forming a beautiful backdrop for the event. But besides the gorgeous scenery, it was the speakers who made the conference memorable and whose messages stay with me now.

I was privileged to listen to nationally prominent public health researchers and activists present their work. Here is a snapshot of a few of my favorite experiences and new ideas learned. Epidemiologist and Harvard professor Dr. Nancy Krieger kicked off a session on discrimination and public health by reporting compelling data linking exposure to racial discrimination to a variety of adverse health outcomes. She employed both explicit and implicit measures to capture a deep understanding of how folks experience and represent their exposure to situations of discrimination.

Following Krieger on the same panel, the University of Washington's Dr. Karina Walters had the room in a hush as she reviewed how historical trauma and acts of microaggression -- daily interactions and messages that denigrate a community or its members -- each diminish the health of oppressed groups, in this case Native Americans. Walters connected her presentation to personal experience, relaying an incident that happened to her when a colleague asked her to deliver a guest lecture in full cultural dress so that she looked "like a Native American." Instead, Walters showed up in her best suit and lectured the entire time about microaggressions and their pernicious effects.

Another panel titled "Popular Protest and Public Health" and organized by the Socialist Caucus was easily the most captivating. A democracy activist from Egypt opened the session, speaking with passion about the unfulfilled work of the Egyptian revolution. He said that although the story has left the western media, the Egyptian people still occupy Tahrir Square because the military dictatorship persists in pushing the interests of the regime despite the departure of Hosni Mubarak.

Later in the session, Dr. Lanny Smith, an associate professor of clinical medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, showed slides that revealed the incredible hardships visited upon migrants seeking to work in America and discussed how his work to provide them with medial care often involves protecting them against vigilante violence from groups such as the Minutemen. Rounding out the panel, Dr. Hillel Cohen, a professor of clinical epidemiology and population health at Einstein, spoke about the importance of the Occupy movement as representing the germ of a new society, one not based in capitalist exploitation but one that instead seeks to meet the most basic and important human needs: safety, health, meaningful work, and education. He argued that the public health community should move from passive to active support of the Occupy movement. He walked the talk too: After the session, he promptly led a contingent of conference attendees to the Washington D.C. Occupy encampment at McPherson park just a few blocks away.


liana winett (1) junk food (2) news strategy (1) Measure O (1) community safety (1) equity (3) media advocacy (23) seat belt laws (1) SB-5 (1) children's health (3) Proposition 47 (1) women's health (2) Jerry Sandusky (3) collaboration (1) community violence (1) social justice (2) prison system (1) filibuster (1) nonprofit communications (1) cannes lions festival (1) diabetes prevention (1) Richmond (5) food marketing (5) junk food marketing to kids (2) democracy (1) Whiteclay (4) political correctness (1) cancer prevention (1) physical activity (1) Joe Paterno (1) sexual health (1) mental health (2) childhood adversity (1) indoor smoking ban (1) corporate social responsibility (1) beverage industry (2) default frame (1) personal responsibility (3) news coverage (1) community (1) media (7) Dora the Explorer (1) chronic disease (2) genital warts (1) food justice (1) alcohol (5) messaging (3) violence prevention (8) news monitoring (1) framing (14) Chile (1) cancer research (1) soda warning labels (1) Citizens United (1) product safety (1) choice (1) Berkeley (2) media analysis (6) Big Tobacco (3) Connecticut shooting (1) food swamps (1) childhood obesity (1) food deserts (1) elephant triggers (1) public health policy (2) public health data (1) soda tax (11) world water day (1) adverse childhood experiences (3) childhood lead poisoning (1) Twitter for advocacy (1) naacp (1) Penn State (3) social media (2) community health (1) new year's resolutions (1) election 2016 (1) race (1) Gardasil (1) authentic voices (1) safety (1) soda taxes (2) social change (1) gender (1) tobacco (5) white house (1) inequities (1) regulation (2) child sexual abuse (5) water security (1) SB 402 (1) Coca-Cola (3) autism (1) values (1) community organizing (1) social math (1) health care (1) communication strategy (1) SB 1000 (1) Oglala Sioux (3) obesity (10) gun control (2) sexual violence (2) racism (1) tobacco industry (2) American Beverage Association (1) stigma (1) summer camps (1) california (1) strategic communication (1) sugar-sweetened beverages (2) prison phone calls (1) violence (2) personal responsibility rhetoric (1) Black Lives Matter (1) Aurora (1) news (2) sandusky (2) sanitation (1) FCC (1) paper tigers (1) childhood trauma (3) Big Food (2) obesity prevention (1) institutional accountability (1) Colorado (1) Proposition 29 (1) Oakland Unified School District (1) news analysis (3) diabetes (1) Amanda Fallin (1) tobacco tax (1) education (1) weight of the nation (1) Johnson & Johnson (1) Bloomberg (3) language (6) front groups (1) Michelle Obama (1) snap (1) paula deen (1) Sandy Hook (2) health equity (10) prevention (1) Tea Party (1) suicide nets (1) food and beverage marketing (3) gun violence (1) Let's Move (1) breastfeeding (3) digital marketing (3) Happy Meals (1) McDonald's (1) Rachel Grana (1) food environment (1) Pine Ridge reservation (1) journalism (1) Catholic church (1) Twitter (1) Newtown (1) ACEs (2) Merck (1) cigarette advertising (1) Bill Cosby (1) online marketing (1) beauty products (1) suicide prevention (2) reproductive justice (1) soda (12) Wendy Davis (1) vaccines (1) george lakoff (1) auto safety (1) cosmetics (1) Texas (1) youth (1) media bites (1) sexism (2) Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (2) sexual assault (1) emergency contraception (1) measure N (2) food access (1) Telluride (1) suicide barrier (2) Golden Gate Bridge (2) campaign finance (1) advocacy (3) Big Soda (2) childhood obestiy conference (1) privilege (1) public health (71) Marion Nestle (1) ssb (1) gatorade bolt game (1) San Francisco (3) built environment (2) government intrusion (1) junk food marketing (4) abortion (1) soda industry (4) Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (1) El Monte (3) Community Coalition Against Beverage Taxes (1) tobacco control (2) water (1) Sam Kass (1) food (1) nanny state (2) Nickelodeon (1) food industry (4) marketing (1) communication (2) cervical cancer (1) PepsiCo (1) apha (3) target marketing (9) Donald Trump (2) Food Marketing Workgroup (1) industry appeals to choice (1) SSBs (1) sports drinks (1) sugary drinks (10) cap the tap (1) structural racism (1) healthy eating (1) HPV vaccine (1) environmental health (1)
  • Follow Us On Facebook
  • Follow Us On Twitter
  • Join Us On Youtube
  • BMSG RSS Feed

get e-alerts in your inbox: