Aug. 30 2019

Fall Events Consider a Grim Anniversary

The fall semester at the Columbia Mailman School offers numerous possibilities for learning and reflection—and not just in the classroom. As part of a full roster of schoolwide events this fall, six lectures and discussions will focus on issues related to the 400th anniversary of enslaved Africans arriving in Jamestown, Virginia—a shameful milestone that set in motion a culture of inequity and health disparities that continues today.

During Orientation, Robert Fullilove, Associate Dean of Community and Minority Affairs, offered an introduction to the 400 Years of Inequality initiative underway at schools across the country. Fullilove then gave a lesson in how inequities were fundamental to the founding of the United States—inscribed into the U.S. Constitution and carried out through discriminatory policies against African-Americans, Native Americans, and other minority groups. “This is a moment when we’re trying to understand the lessons of the past and what they tell us about the present and what sense they give us for the future,” he said.

To kick-off the 400 Years programming, on September 4, Fullilove will lead a faculty panel discussion as part of the Dean’s Grand Rounds series. On October 14, Indigenous People’s Day, the School will acknowledge the anniversary with a ceremony in Bard Hall at noon; later that afternoon, two distinguished guest lecturers, both of whom are authorities on racism and health, will present as part of a Grand Rounds lecture on the ecology of inequality. Updates and details on the 400 Years programming are available online.

For a full list of fall events, including Chronic Disease Seminars on the opioid epidemic and aging, as well as activities sponsored by academic departments, visit the Columbia Mailman School Event Calendar.


September 4

Grand Rounds: Framing Our Struggles for Justice
VEC 201, 4:00–5:30 p.m.
Moderator: Robert Fullilove
Discussants: David Bell, MD, MPH, Associate Professor for Population and Family Health; Merlin Chowkwanyun, PhD, MPH, Donald H. Gemson Assistant Professor of Sociomedical Sciences; Jasmine McDonald, PhD, assistant professor of Epidemiology; and Frederica Perera, DrPH, PhD, professor of Environmental Health Sciences

October 14

400 Years of Inequality: A Call to Action 
Opening ceremony: Bard Hall Lounge, noon
Discussions with faculty and community leaders: ARB (details forthcoming)

Grand Rounds: An Ecology of Inequality
VEC 201, 4:00–5:30 p.m. 
Chandra Ford, PhD, director of the Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice & Health, University of California, Los Angeles
Harriet Washington, author of Medical Apartheid


October 16

Awakening Our Democracy: The Slavery Legacy: Long-Term Health Impacts of Racial Inequality
VEC 401, 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
Hosted by the Office of University Life
(Details forthcoming)

November 19

Food, Public Health, and Social Justice
Lenfest Center for the Arts, 6:00–7:30 p.m. 
(Details forthcoming)

November 20

Grand Rounds: 50 Years Since Stonewall
VEC 201, 4:00–5:30 p.m.
Ilan H. Meyer, PhD, Williams Distinguished Senior Scholar of Public Policy, Williams Institute for Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy, University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law