Mark Your Calendars for

What the Science Tells Us:

Racial Health and Economic Inequities During the Pandemic

A Webinar

Friday, October 1st, 2021

1:30-5:30 pm ET / 12:30-4:30 pm CT

Please join us for “What the Science Tells Us: Racial Health and Economic Inequities During the Pandemic,” a symposium presented by the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University and proudly supported by the Vertex Foundation. This symposium explores the intersection of racial health and economic inequities that were exposed and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Keynotes by interdisciplinary panels of scientists, policymakers, health care experts, and community leaders will present historic and contemporary underpinnings of racial inequities and engage the audience in conversation on research-driven solutions and innovative approaches to promote health and economic equity.

1:30 | Welcome from President Robert Brown and Opening Remarks from Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, Director and Founder of the BU Center for Antiracist Research and New York Times best-selling author

1:45 | Fireside #1: Racial Health Equity and Economic Equity During and Beyond COVID

This fireside keynote discusses the far-reaching impact of the social determinants of health and how racial health equity and economic equity are inextricably related. Perspectives from leaders in health care and medicine present local, regional, and national initiatives that target the social determinants of health and why such initiatives promote health and economic equity.

Moderated by: Dr. Ibram X. Kendi

Featuring panelists:

Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, Senior Advisor to the White House COVID-19 Response Team; and Chair of the Presidential COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force*

Dr. Peter Slavin, Former President, Massachusetts General Hospital

Ms. Kate Walsh, President, Boston Medical Center

2:25 | Fireside #2: The Impact of Redlining: Past, Present, and Future of Racial Health Inequities

This keynote panel explores the historic roots of redlining and its intergenerational effects on wealth, health, and education among communities of color in the U.S. From its inception in the 1930s in the housing sector to present day forms such as digital redlining and unequal health care access, this panel will unpack how a racist policy formed nearly 100 years ago continues to yield devastating racial health inequities that were amplified during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as provide insights for moving forward.

Moderated by: Dr. Monica L. Wang, Associate Director of Narrative, BU Center for Antiracist Research; Associate Professor of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health; Adjunct Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Featuring panelists:

Dr. Jayakanth Srinivasan, Research Associate Professor, Information Systems, Boston University Questrom School of Business, Institute for Health System Innovation and Policy

3:00 | Interlude

3:15 | Fireside #3: COVID Policy and Economic Equity

This fireside keynote discusses current and future COVID-related policy approaches to promote racial economic equity and why such policies are needed to advance economic recovery and racial equity for communities in the Greater Boston region and beyond.

Moderated by: Ms. Deborah Douglas, Co-Editor-in-Chief for The Emancipator

Featuring panelists:

Ms. Kim Janey, Mayor of Boston

Dr. M. Lee Pelton, Chief Executive Officer and President, The Boston Foundation

3:50 | Fireside #4: Climate Change, Child Health, and COVID

This keynote panel discusses the intricate intersections of environmental health, COVID, and racial inequities in child health, the mechanisms underpinning the disproportionate burden of respiratory and chronic illnesses associated with COVID among communities of color, and the types of cross-sector collaborations needed to combat the inequities observed during COVID and beyond.

Moderated by: Dr. Joe Betancourt, Senior Vice President, Equity and Community Health, Massachusetts General Hospital; Founder, Senior Advisor and Faculty, The Disparities Solutions Center; Faculty, The Mongan Institute; Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Featuring panelists:

Dr. Cutler J. Cleveland, Professor of Earth and Environment; Interim Director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy; Faculty Affiliate, BU Center for Antiracist Research

Dr. Julia Raifman, Assistant Professor, Health Law, Policy & Managment, Boston University School of Public Health

Dr. Megan Sandel, Associate Professor, Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health, in Pediatrics and Environmental Health

4:35 | Interlude

4:45 | Fireside #5: Racism as a Public Health Emergency: The Call for Urgent Action

Concluding this symposium is a fireside keynote dedicated to racism as a public health crisis and the corresponding action needed to address this root cause of racial health inequities. From vaccine research and distribution to community approaches to economic policy, panelists will discuss various strategies needed to ensure that the conditions in which people live are health-promoting for all.

Moderated by: Dr. Reshma Kewalramani

Featuring panelist:

Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, 19th Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; ninth Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

With a special appearance by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi

*Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith attendance status is pending. Please check back for updates.