Inspiring Social Justice to Address Emerging Health Crises in Vulnerable Populations

As part of Critical Social Justice week, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology is organizing a workshop “Inspiring Social Justice to Address Emerging Health Crises in Vulnerable Populations” to be held on Monday, March 3rd from 12-2pm in Sherman A-220.

The first panel, “The Health Toll of Human Rights Violations Against Female Political Prisoners, Transsexuals, and Sex Trafficking Victims” presented by Andrea Kalfoglou, PhD, Jana Rehak, PhD, and Ilsa Lottes, PhD, will examine violence, trauma, and human rights from social justice perspectives. Dr Kalfoglou will examine pressing issues facing transgender, transsexual, and other female victims of multiple forms of violence. Dr Rehak will address the pain and social suffering of female Czechoslovakian political prisoners between 1948 and 1989 who were subjected to continuous interrogations shaped by physical and psychological torture. The inflicted pain and concepts of cruelty were constructed by culturally shaped ideas. Dr Lottes will provide a framework for understanding human rights and their relationship to social justice. Further, she will illustrate how policy and programs can integrate human rights principles to reduce violations of human rights for vulnerable populations, such as sexual minorities and those with limited access to resources and information.

The second panel, Lessons from Immigration Policy and Historical Events that Shaped Today’s Inequities in the Diabetes Epidemic Among African-Americans, Latinos, and American Indians, featuring Pamela Geernaert, PhD, Sarah Chard, PhD, and Angelica P. Herrera, DrPH, will address inequities in health among marginalized communities. Panelists will begin with an overview of emerging trends and epidemiology of Type II diabetes in the context of the social determinants of health from public health, sociological, and anthropological perspectives, as it affects the nation’s older population of African Americans, Latinos, and American Indians. Dr Geernaert will provide an insightful account of historical events and current federal policies, coupled with cultural genocide, that continue to propagate diabetes health disparities among American Indian elders on and off reservations. Dr Chard will discuss findings from a current National Institute on Aging ethnographic study centered on the impact of discrimination and mistrust on older African Americans’ diabetes care lived experiences. Lastly, Dr Herrera will discuss how immigration policy and cultural incongruence with the U.S. health care system, as well as the migration experience and poverty have fueled the upsurge of diabetes in America’s fastest growing and largest minority population. Discussants will share promising initiatives and invite audience members to raise awareness and propose transcending and creative solutions in the context of a politically volatile and fragile economy where the wealth gap has only widened in recent years.

All members of the UMBC community are invited to attend this insightful and timely event to learn more about these pressing concerns in health and social justice. Refreshments provided.

SJ in Health Crises


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