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Event series to explore racialized health, economic disparities from COVID-19

The Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy is kicking off a virtual event series this week with a discussion about the local impact of safety nets on communities of color during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Panelists at the April 1 event include:

  • William Lopez, a clinical assistant professor at the School of Public Health as well as a faculty associate at both the Latina/o Studies Program and Poverty Solutions;
  • Kat Stafford, a national investigative writer with The Associated Press, where she examines how structural racism has fueled inequity in the United States; and
  • Charles E. Williams II, pastor of the Historic King Solomon Baptist Church in Detroit and the Michigan Chair of the National Action Network. Williams also is engaged in research at U-M’s Center on Assets, Education and Inclusion and Poverty Solutions.

The panel will be moderated by Mara Ostfeld, associate faculty director of Poverty Solutions and an assistant research scientist at the Ford School. Ostfeld is a faculty lead at the Detroit Metro Area Communities Study.

>>Watch the video

The series aims to explore the local- and state-level policies responding to the racialized health and economic disparities stemming from the pandemic. Organized by the Ford School’s Center for Racial Justice and co-sponsored by Poverty Solutions and the National Center for Institutional Diversity, the series will bring together policymakers, journalists, researchers and community leaders.

Future events have been scheduled for May 6 and June 10.

Scheduled to participate on May 6 is Cameron Webb, assistant professor of medicine and public health science at University of Virginia and senior policy adviser for COVID-19 equity on the White House COVID-19 Response Team. He will be in conversation with Luke Shaefer, Poverty Solutions’ faculty director.

>>Watch the video

For June 10, Joneigh Khaldun, former chief medical executive for the state of Michigan and current vice president and chief equity officer for CVS Health, is scheduled to be in conversation with Celeste Watkins-Hayes, director of the Center for Racial Justice.

>>Watch the video