Center for Health Equity Events & Journal Club

Center for Health Equity Conference

Grand Rounds 400 Years of Inequality: Achieving Redemption, Reconciliation, and Equity Today

Monday 9/23 8:30AM - 4:00PM
William Pitt Union

As this nation marks a full 400 hundred years of inequality since 1619 when the first enslaved Africans arrived in Jamestown, we invite our community to join with nationally prominent scholars and community activists in a one-day symposium examining this American legacy. How does the racial and social oppression forced upon enslaved Africans and their descendants translate to the racial inequities we see today?

Our quest is to understand not only context, ramifications, causes and outcomes, but also what African Americans —and all Americans—are going to do. What are the remedies, successful interventions, and steps necessary for achieving equity today? 


8:30 a.m.
Breakfast & Convocation

Libation and drum call by The Legacy Arts Project (8:30 a.m.)

Everette James, Interim Dean, Pitt Public Health  (9:00 a.m.)

Paula Davis, Assistant vice chancellor for health sciences diversity, University of Pittsburgh

Kathy Humphrey, Senior vice chancellor for engagement and secretary of the board of trustees, University of Pittsburgh

9:30 a.m.

400 Years of Inequality, Should “America” Pay

Akinyele Umoja
Associate professor and chair, Department of African-American Studies, Georgia State University

10:30 a.m.
Response panel

Jerome Taylor, Associate professor of Africana studies, University of Pittsburgh 
Carl Redwood, Pitt Social Work 
Patricia Rodney, Walter Rodney Foundation

11:30 –12:30 p.m.
Lunch break


12:30 – 1 p.m.

Dance presentation by Legacy Arts Project

1 p.m.

Equity in the Opportunity to Survive the 1st year of Life - A Dream Deferred

Arthur R. James
Associate professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ohio State University

1:45 p.m.
Response panel


Jeannette South-Paul, Andrew W. Mathieson Professor and department chair, Department of Family Medicine, Pitt Medicine (moderator)
Dannai M. Wilson, manager, Maternal and Child Health Program, Allegheny County Public Health
Jada Shirriel, CEO, Healthy Start

2:45 p.m.

The Underdevelopment of Well Being in African American Neighborhoods: Prescriptions for Environmental Social Justice

Jamil Bey, CEO Urban Kind

3:30 p.m.
Response panel

Noble Maseru, professor and associate dean for diversity and inclusion, director, Center forHealth Equity, Pitt Public Health
Fred Brown, President and CEO, The Forbes Funds
Mark Lewis, president and CEO, POISE Foundation

4 p.m.





UmojaJAMIL BEY is the founder and president of the UrbanKind Institute, a think-and-do consultancy committed to providing direction to improve policies, programs, and practices that are kind to urban people and environments; the root of sustainability. Under Bey's leadership and direction, the UrbanKind Institute has become one of the region's premier public policy consultancies. Prized for our ability to do the complicated tasks of bringing people from all sectors and with often competing interests together to create actionable solutions.

A BS, MA, and PhD graduate of Penn State, Jamil is a human geographer with 8 years of post-doctoral research and analysis of policy and practices that improve efficiency and outcomes in human experiences. As a researcher, analyst, and consultant he specializes in challenging common assumptions about ordinary concerns while bringing alternative perspectives for consideration. Trained as both a professional geographer and as an educator, Bey excels in spatial analysis and synthesis, pedagogy, and instruction. His primary focus is on spatial, and location analysis. His integrated-systems view of the world provides highly contextualized conclusions, and recommendations that consider the interconnectivity of economics, politics, history, culture, health, social movements, and the environment in his analyses.

Arthur R. JamesARTHUR R. JAMES is an obstetrician, gynecologist, and pediatrician who has been involved in the care of underserved populations for the entirety of his medical career. In previous practices he has been the medical director of a neighborhood health center (FQHC-site), medical director of Bronson Methodist Hospital's Women's Care Clinic, and founding/medical director of Borgess Medical Center's Women's Health office. For several years he was an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology, and pediatrics at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Nationwide Children's Hospital, co-chair of the Ohio Collaborative to Prevent Infant Mortality, and is a former senior policy advisor to the Ohio Department of Health (2011-2016). He has also been a member of the Health and Human Services Secretary's Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality, a former member of the Board of Directors for the National Healthy Start Association, former board member for the Centering Healthcare Institute, Inc., former executive director of Ohio State's Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and is currently co-chair for the Center for Disease Control and March of Dimes Health Equity workgroup, senior consultant to First Year Cleveland (a Cuyahoga County community-wide effort to decrease the infant mortality rate and eliminate racial disparities in birth outcomes).

UmojaAKINYELE UMOJA is a professor of African-American studies at Georgia State University. Umoja is an alumnus of Compton High School, California State University Los Angeles (BA), and Emory University (MA and PhD). His research and instruction are focused on the history of civil rights and Black power and other Black resistance and social movements. He is the author of the award-winning book We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance and the Mississippi Freedom Movement (NYU, 2013). Umoja is the co­editor of the Black Power Encyclopedia (2018) and also editor of a 2018 special issue of The Black Scholar on the legacy of revolutionary activist, attorney, and elected official, the Honorable Chokwe Lumumba.

Umoja was the recipient of the NCBS 2013 President's Award for outstanding contribution to the discipline of African-American studies. Umoja is also a human rights and social justice activist. He is a co-founder of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, an organization committed to human rights, self-determination, and reparations of African descendants in the United States and internationally. Umoja was inducted into Selma, Alabama's Hall of Resistance in the Enslavement and Civil War Museum during the city's annual Bridge Crossing and Jubilee Celebration. Other inductees include author Sonia Sanchez, and scholar-activists Asa Hilliard, Maulana Karenga, Ray Winbush, and legendary Hip Hop artist Tupac Shakur. Umoja has also traveled to Spain, Germany, Cuba, Haiti, and Venezuela to speak on forums on reparations, political prisoners and human rights.


Established in 2011, the center seeks to understand and ultimately eliminate health inequities in disadvantaged, vulnerable and underserved populations—particularly those in Western Pennsylvania. It addresses issues attributed to institutional racism; builds strategic partnerships across sectors and communities; acknowledges a Health in All Policies perspective and the public sector’s role in achieving health equity for its’ citizenry.

Organized by the Center for Health Equity, with support from Pitt Public Health's dean's office, and the Office of Health Sciences Diversity. Seating is limited.

Find out more about the American Public Health Association's 400 Years of Inequaility initiative online. 

Last Updated On Thursday, September 19, 2019 by Borkowski, Matthew Gerard
Created On Thursday, September 5, 2019