COVID-19 Virtual Events

Resources for Research, Practice, and Teaching

Upcoming Events & Virtual Event Series

Series | COVID-19 Virtual Symposium | Columbia Zuckerman Institute

Sharing the latest in COVID-19 research at Columbia

Columbia University researchers and clinicians are invited to join these regular virtual symposia on COVID-19. Researchers and clinicians at all career stages are welcome to educate themselves about Columbia’s efforts against this unprecedented threat to our society.

Symposia are held weekly on Wednesdays unless otherwise noted. Links to register for upcoming symposia are posted below.

To attend future events, visit the COVID-19 Virtual Symposium Series page.

To watch prior recordings of the symposium, visit the Zuckerman Institute Youtube.

American Public Health Association and the National Academy of Medicine | COVID-19 Conversations

Presented by a partnership between the American Public Health Association and the National Academy of  Medicine.

To read transcripts and see materials from past webinars, visit COVID-19 Conversations.

January 11, 2021 | Structural Racism and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Columbia University

Presented by the Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health​. Registration only for Columbia affiliates


Machelle Allen, MD, NYC Health + Hospitals, Latanya Mapp Frett, JD, Global Fund for Women, Micaela Martinez, PhD, and Terry McGovern, JD

RSVP here:

Past Events & Materials

Podcast Series | Black Lives: In the Era of COVID 19 | Columbia University African American and African Diaspora Studies Department

Find all of the podcast episode here:

Introducing a new podcast series, "Black Lives: In the Era of COVID 19." Join Columbia University professors Samuel K. Roberts, Jr., Mabel O. Wilson and their guests as they discuss the impacts of COVID19 on Black life in New York City and beyond.

Episode #1 - Professor Malo Hutson, Planning, GSAPP, Columbia University
Episode #2 - Trammell Thompson, Progressive Action and MTA Subway Conductor
Episode #3 - Dr. Oni Blackstock, outgoing Assistant Commissioner for the New York City Health Department’s Bureau of HIV
Episode #4 - Keesha Middlemass, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, Rutgers School of Criminal Justice
Episode #5 - Matt Swain on Being an Essential Healthcare Worker During the Crisis
Episode #6 - Saeeda Dunston, executive director of Elmcor Youth & Adult Activities, Inc., a non-profit, multi-service organization located in Queens, New York
Episode #7 - Prof. Jelani Cobb, author and Ira A. Lipman Professor of Journalism
Episode #8 - Prof. Steven Thrasher, Northwestern University
Episode #9 - Prof. Alondra Nelson, president of the Social Science Research Council

Black Lives: In the Era of COVID 19
Racial inequality. Income inequality. Structural inequality. Health inequality. The novel coronavirus crisis has exposed issues of inequity and injustice that continue to shape local and nationwide responses. Join Columbia University professors Samuel K. Roberts, Jr., Mabel O. Wilson and their guests as they discuss the impacts of COVID19 on Black life in New York City and beyond. Brought to you by the Institute for Research in African American Studies and the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies at Columbia University.

Series | Conversation on COVID-19: Impacts on Communities of Color | National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, Medicine

While much is still unknown about the virus causing the current pandemic, according to data from the CDC, we do know that certain populations—African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, and the elderly, to name a few—are bearing the brunt of infections and deaths.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine have a long history of gathering leading thinkers to share the latest research and information on health equity. Conversations on COVID-19: Impacts on Communities of Color includes conversations with experts on a variety of topics related to minority health and COVID-19, as well as information and resources from the National Academies on topics related to health equity.

Watch recordings of the sessions here.

Series | COVID-19: Advancing Rights and Justice During a Pandemic | Virtual Event Series | Columbia Law School

The impacts of the novel coronavirus are being felt across the world, and in all domains of our lives, from physical and mental health, to job security, housing, and family life. Existing inequalities are more visible than ever, with the burdens of the crisis falling on some much more than others. Some governments are exploiting the crisis to crackdown on civil liberties. This series brings together scholars and practitioners to discuss the threats we face, and how we might respond.

The series is organized by the Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute, Duke Law’s International Human Rights Clinic, Columbia Law School’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, and Just Security. 

See upcoming events in this series here.

December 17, 2020 | Bias^2 Seminar: Nancy Krieger | Harvard Data Science Institute

Bias^2 Seminar:
Nancy Krieger, Harvard

To find full recordings of the Bias^2 Webinar Series, click here:

Thursday, December 17, 2020
1:30pm to 2:45pm

Title: Structural racism, embodied histories, and health inequities: COVID-19, cancer, and the two-edged sword of data.
Abstract: In this presentation, I highlight key data – and data science – challenges for research on structural racism, embodied histories, and health inequities, focusing on COVID-19 and cancer. This requires grappling with what the science of racism and health entails: theoretically, methodologically, and in relation to the two-edged sword of racial/ethnic data and contrasts between studying racism vs “race” as causal drivers of population distributions of health. Guided by the ecosocial theory of disease distribution, which I have been developing since 1994, I present results of diverse studies I have led on US COVID-19 health inequities as well as critique the extant data. I then discuss several examples of my empirical research on cancer, Jim Crow, and both past and present residential segregation, analyzed in relation to both the Index of Concentration at the Extremes I have developed for racialized economic segregation and historical redlining (as delineated by the 1930s federally-sponsored maps produced by the Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC)). I conclude with reflections on counting for accountability, embodied histories, and the need for research on structural injustice and the people’s health to inform the work for health equity. See here for suggested readings.

Nancy Krieger is Professor of Social Epidemiology, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Director of the HSPH Interdisciplinary Concentration on Women, Gender, and Health. She has been a member of the School’s faculty since 1995. Dr. Krieger is an internationally recognized social epidemiologist (PhD, Epidemiology, UC Berkeley, 1989), with a background in biochemistry, philosophy of science, and history of public health, plus 30+ years of activism involving social justice, science, and health.

November 19, 2020 | Dr. Fauci on Public Trust in Science | The Hastings Center

Presented by the Hastings Center as part of the "Securing Health in a Troubled Time: Equity, Ethics, and the Common Good

Dr. Anthony Fauci will be the featured guest in an online Hastings Center discussion next month. The nation’s top infectious disease official will be Hastings president Mildred Solomon’s guest. They will examine the ethical issues raised by the erosion of trust in science and explore how we can improve public understanding. What civic innovations can build trust and respectful dialogue?  What is the proper balance between safety and speed when developing new therapeutics and vaccines? And who should decide when scientists and members of the public disagree? This event is being announced first to Hastings e-newsletter subscribers, and early registrants will have the opportunity to ask questions in an interactive Q & A segment.

Watch the full recording here:

November, 18, 2020 | Cartwright Lecture: COVID-19 in South Africa: medical, scientific and political challenges | Columbia University

Presented by Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

“COVID-19 in South Africa: medical, scientific and political challenges”

Salim Abdool Karim, PhD
CAPRISA Professor of Global Health (in Epidemiology)
Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health

Wednesday, November 18, 2020
4:30 p.m.

The Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

November 16, 2020 | Whose Pain Matters? Reflections on Race, Social Justice, and COVID-19's Revealed Inequalities | Greenwall Foundation

Presented by the Green Foundation, as the William C. Stubing Memorial Lecture

You are invited to join us for The Greenwall Foundation’s William C. Stubing Memorial Lecture on Monday, November 16, at 6:30 pm EDT.

Keith Wailoo, PhD, Henry Putnam University Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University, will discuss Whose Pain Matters? Reflections on Race, Social Justice, and COVID-19’s Revealed Inequalities.
We are excited to partner with the NYU School of Global Public Health and its Center for Bioethics to bring this year’s Lecture to a national audience as a live webinar and moderated Q&A session.

Watch the full recording here:

November 6, 2020 | Structural Racism in Healthcare | Columbia Irving Institute

Presented by the Columbia Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research

Dr. Norris is Professor of Medicine, UCLA Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research  is an expert on health equity in health and healthcare. He will discuss the role of structural determinants and structural racism in shaping health inequities, and the role of bias in healthcare, with implications for interventions and implementation science.  Dr. Norris is also a Keynote speaker for the NIH/Academy Health 13th Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation in Health.  

Watch the full recording here:

October 30, 2020 | Viral Justice: Pandemics, Policing, and Public Bioethics | Johns Hopkins

Presented by Johns Hopkins University Berman Institute of Bioethics

Ruha Benjamin, PhD
Viral Justice: Pandemics, Policing, and Public Bioethics
Watch the full recording here:

In this talk, Ruha Benjamin examines the twin crises of COVID-19 and police violence, mapping the multiple vectors through which racism gets under the skin, into the blood stream, attacking our bodies and body politic. She offers a theory of change, viral justice – as a practical and principled approach to transmuting a hostile racial climate into one that is more habitable, hopeful, and just.

Ruha Benjamin is Associate Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, Founding Director of the Ida B. Wells Just Data Lab, and author of the award-winning book Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code (2019), among other publications. Benjamin is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including from the American Council of Learned Societies, National Science Foundation, Institute for Advanced Study, andthe President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton. For more info, please visit

October 29, 2020 | Priorities in Covid 19 Vaccination | Columbia University

Presented by the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health as part of the Dean's Seminar Series on Chronic Disease

Bruce Gellin, M.D., M.P.H.
President, Global Immunization
Sabin Vaccine Institute

Ronald Bayer, PhD
Professor, Sociomedical Sciences
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Watch the full recording here:

October 23, 2020 | Is inequality toxic for public health agendas? | Columbia Mailman School of Public Health

Zoom Webinar

Featuring: Gita Sen, PhD

Distinguished Professor and Director Ramalingaswami Centre on Equity and Social Determinants of Health Public Health Foundation of India


Office of the Dean, Columbia Global Centers | Mumbai

Invitation Limited to: Open to the Columbia Community

Learn More

The annual Yusuf Hamied Distinguished Lectures - one in Mumbai and one in New York City - honor outstanding individuals whose work has advanced our understanding of global health challenges. We thank our Columbia Mailman board member Dr. Yusuf K. Hamied for his generosity in establishing this distinguished lecture series, which enables our institution to strengthen and build academic relationships with the public health research community in India, in collaboration with our partner, the Columbia Global Centers | Mumbai.

Watch the full recording here:

October 22, 2020 | SARS-CoV-2 Infection Among California Farmworkers: Monterey County | Harvard University

Joseph Lewnard and Maximiliano Cuevas

Farmworkers are an essential workforce population in the United States whose continued work during the COVID-19 pandemic has been critical to the security of the food supply. However, the living and working conditions of this population, together with profound social, legal, and economic marginalization, have created a perfect storm in the context of the pandemic. We will describe an ongoing study of the epidemiology of COVID-19 and impact of the pandemic among farmworkers in Monterey County, California, undertaken in partnership with Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas, the primary provider of healthcare to this population.

Watch the recording here!

October 15, 2020 | Race, Racism, and Health Disparities in COVID-19 | Harvard University

Presented by the Harvard University Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics as part of the COVID-19 and Health Inequities Seminar Series

Tanjala Purnell

Dr. Tanjala Purnell is an epidemiologist and health services researcher with over a decade of research experience related to identifying and addressing patient/family, healthcare system, and community factors influencing health and healthcare disparities for adults with cardiovascular disease risk factors, including hypertension, chronic kidney disease, and diabetes. She is an Assistant Professor of Cardiovascular Disease and Clinical Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

In her role as an Associate Director of the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute, Dr. Purnell co-leads the institute’s efforts to facilitate and recognize collaborations between communities, universities, healthcare delivery systems, government, and the private sector to build collective capacity for achieving health equity in Baltimore.

Watch the full recording here.

October 6, 2020 | Racial Equity and Housing Justice During and After COVID-19 | National Low Income Housing Coalition

Presented by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Ta-Nehisi Coates to Address “Racial Equity and Housing Justice During and After COVID-19” on October 6!

NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, and NLIHC for a conversation on “Racial Equity and Housing Justice during and after COVID-19” on October 6, at 1 pm ET. Register today for this live-stream event at: Be sure to submit questions for Ta-Nehisi through the registration page or via social media using #RacialEquityandCOVID

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a distinguished writer in residence at NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. He is the author of the bestselling books The Beautiful Struggle, We Were Eight Years in Power, and Between The World And Me, which won the National Book Award in 2015.  Ta-Nehisi is a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. He is also the current author of the Marvel comics The Black Panther and Captain America.

As an author and thought leader, Ta-Nehisi has been a vital voice in shaping the discourse on race in the United States and globally. His seminal article in The Atlantic, “The Case for Reparations,” discusses thirty-five years of racist housing policy that led to the inequities still plaguing housing in the U.S. Please join us for this conversation with Ta-Nehisi Coates on “Racial Equity and Housing Justice During and After COVID-19” on October 6 at 1 pm ET.

September 24, 2020 | Trust in Models and Modeling Trust: Modeling COVID-19 in Real Time | Columbia University

Presented by the Mellon-Sawyer Seminar on Trust and Mistrust of Science and Experts at Columbia University.

How should modelers communicate the uncertainty inherent in their models without undermining trust? What does it mean to trust a probabilistic forecast? Do models incorporating assumptions about public behavior need to be understood and trusted by the public being modeled? Should modelers try to influence the public and decision-makers or should we be worried that such attempts might backfire and lead to loss of trust? We will explore all these questions and many more with the help of epidemiologists and public health experts including Matthew Biggerstaff, Ronald S. Braithwaite, Jennifer Nuzzo, Caitlin Rivers, and Jeffrey Shaman. Moderated by Gil Eyal.

For more readings, extended bios, and more, visit our webpage.

September 21, 2020 | Understanding the Role of Race in Health | Harvard Petrie-

Presented by the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this panel discussion will be held virtually, as an online webinar. To ensure that you will receive access to the livestream and be kept up to date on any changes to the event, register now. We will send out a link to the livestream of the event to all registrants the day before the event.

Structural racism pervades all facets of society, from education, to housing, to law enforcement.  The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the health disparities that result from this systemic and structural racism.

The Petrie-Flom Center has asked leading scholars in law, public health, history, sociology, and other fields to explore these issues for a digital symposium on the Bill of Health blog. The focus of the symposium is to unpack how critical race theories and other strands of racial justice scholarship can inform health care, public health, and other areas of law to improve health outcomes among minorities.

To mark the launch of the symposium and to kick off the semester, a panel of contributors will participate in a moderated discussion of some of these pressing questions, including: Which social determinants of health have the greatest effects on race hierarchies? Does the health care system itself exacerbate racial health disparities? And which legislative changes, litigation strategies, or enforcement actions by federal agencies, might work as a tool to combat health disparities?

Join the conversation on Twitter with @PetrieFlom using #RaceandHealth.

September 17, 2020 | Creating a Public Health System for Equity | Columbia Mailman School of Public Health

Presented by the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health.

Creating a Public Health System for Equity  ​

COVID-19 has served as a magnifying glass on a broken, structurally racist and unequal health system which falls grievously short of protecting communities of color, the aged and the vulnerable.  It also has highlighted the devastating consequences of our country’s absence of a public health system charged with protecting and elevating health for all.  This year we will deepen our understanding, research, teaching and action on this topic, through our Grand Rounds on the Future of Public Health Series.

Thursday, September 17, 2020
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Oxiris Barbot, MD
Former Commissioner, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Population and Family Health
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Wes Moore
Chief Executive Officer, Robin Hood

Linda P. Fried, MD, MPH (moderator)
Dean, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health
DeLamar Professor of Public Health Practice
Professor, Epidemiology and Medicine
Senior Vice President, Columbia University Medical Center

Session recording forthcoming.

September 17, 2020 | Advancing the Response to COVID-19 | US Department of Health and Human Services

Presented by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

We are just seven days away from the Advancing the Response to COVID-19: Sharing Promising Programs and Practices for Racial and Ethnic Minority Communities virtual symposium hosted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health. The virtual symposium will highlight state, tribal, territorial and community-based efforts addressing COVID-19 among racial and ethnic minority and American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

We invite you to join us on Sept. 17, 2020 to hear from national, state, tribal, and local experts leading efforts developed for public health leaders at all levels and community organizations confronting the pandemic.

Speaker Announcements

Make sure you attend the Opening and Closing Plenaries featuring leadership from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Opening Plenary |  Welcome & Opening Remarks  | 12:30 PM ET

Secretary Alex Azar, JD, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

RADM Felicia Collins, MD, MPH, FAAP, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health and Director, Office of Minority Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Keynote Address

ADM Brett Giroir, MD, Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Closing Plenary | Call to Action & Closing Remarks  |  4:45 PM ET

Leandris Liburd, PhD, MPH, MA, Chief Health Equity Officer, Director of Office of Minority Health and Health Equity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

VADM Jerome Adams, MD, MPH, Surgeon General of the United States

September 14, 2020 | The Black and Brown Essential Worker in the Time of COVID-19 | Harvard School of Public Health

Presented by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Education and Research Center and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Center for Work, Health, & Well-Being.

The Black and Brown Essential Worker in the Time of COVID-19: How Systemic Economic and Health Racism Fueled Differential Outcomes during a Pandemic

Presented by Kenneth R. Alleyne, MD, FAAOS, Orthopedic Surgeon; Chair, Board of Directors of the Connecticut Health Foundation; Board Member, University of Connecticut Health Center

Monday September 14, 2020, 1:10-1:50 pm (ET)

Dr. Alleyne will discuss the challenges of access to care for non-health professional essential workers, the role of social determinants in the health outcomes for non-health essential workers, and the role of the corporate community in addressing the challenges of essential worker health and safety.

A webinar co-sponsored by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Education and Research Center and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Center for Work, Health, & Well-being 

Session recording forthcoming.

August 27, 2020 | Policing and Public Health in the Age of COVID-19 | Physicians for Human Rights

Presented by Physicians for Human Rights.

In the midst of the societal upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic came the killing of George Floyd and calls for an end to systemic racism, including in policing practices. Law enforcement has a responsibility to protect the human rights to life, speech, and assembly. While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause illness and death, structural racism and police brutality in the United States have led to a public health crisis. PHR hosted a conversation on policing and public health, focusing on the impact of harmful law enforcement practices in the age of COVID-19. Our moderator was Mary Bassett, MD, MPH, director of the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University, FXB Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights at the Harvard School of Public Health, and former commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Panelists were:

● Rhea Boyd, MD, MPH is a pediatrician and public health advocate who serves as the chief medical officer of San Diego 211, and as the director of equity and justice for The California Children’s Trust.

● Marc Krupanski, MA, is a senior program officer for the Open Society Foundations’ Public Health Program.

● Teressa Raiford is the founder of Don’t Shoot Portland, a Black-led and community driven nonprofit in Portland, Oregon, that advocates for accountability to create social change in the spaces of racial justice and law enforcement accountability.

Watch the full session recording here.

August 26, 2020 | Health Care and Health Care Financing for COVID-19 in Correctional Facilities | National Academies of Science, Engineering, Medicine

Jails and prisons are epicenters of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. How can correctional facilities manage COVID-19 related health care? What are strategies for financing COVID-19-releated health care in correctional facilities? The webinar discussed sick call and long-term care for COVID-19 patients, protection of medically vulnerable people in correctional facilities, and opportunities for expansion of Medicaid coverage for correctional populations. 


Dr. Jennifer Clarke, Rhode Island Department of Corrections

Vikki Wachino, Community Oriented Correctional Health Services

Dr. Brie Williams, University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Tyler Winkelman, University of Minnesota

Watch the full session recording here.

August 20, 2020 | Defending Public Health against Public Opinion

A conversation presented by Columbia Alumni Association with Dr. Robert Klitzman, AB Princeton'80, MD Yale'85 Professor of Psychiatry and the Director of the Bioethics Masters Program at Columbia University Host: Dr. Ellen Fox, BA Yale (Psychology), MD Harvard'87, HEC-C, Founder and President, Fox Ethics Consulting

August 20, 2020 at 6:30-8pm est

Public health professionals, like any civil servants in any US administration, do battle for proper attention, funding, and institutional support as part of their job description. But it is an entirely different struggle when their recommendations are inconvenient to the public, especially when the public opinion is being actively shaped to question their veracity. Unfortunately, that is the vicious cycle of this pandemic in the US.  Join our virtual town hall as the eminent Bioethics scholar Prof. Robert Klitzman explores the multi-faceted intersection between Bioethics and Human Psychology, whether science is compelling enough to withstand the inconvenience of the truth, and how both the health professionals and the public can converge on the right path in the strife for wearing masks, social-distancing, self-quarantining, school opening, athletes’ well-being, and caring for the elderly.  Prof. Klitzman will be interviewed by Dr. Ellen Fox, bioethics consultant, educator and policymmaker. There will be a time dedicated to Q&A.

August 20, 2020 | Health Disparities in the Time of Covid-19: Building a More Equitable Future | Columbia Mailman School of Public Health

Health Disparities in the Time of Covid-19: Building a More Equitable Future

Thursday, August 20, 2020
5 p.m. - 6 p.m.

The COVID-19 pandemic has served as a magnifying lens on the deep disparities that have long-existed in the United States and around the world. Join two Columbia Mailman experts for a discussion of the ways in which the pandemic has reinforced these disparities and insights into what is needed to address them.


Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, MPH, MPA
University Professor, Dr. Mathilde Krim-amfAR Chair of Global Health
Epidemiology (In ICAP)
Director, ICAP

Diana Hernandez, PhD
Associate Professor
Sociomedical Sciences 

With a Q and A moderated by:

Anette Wu , MD, MPH, PhD
President of the Columbia Mailman Alumni Board
Assistant Professor of Medical Sciences (in Medicine) and Pathology and Cell Biology at CUMC

August 18, 2020 | Removing Race from eGFR | Institute for Healing and Justice in Medicine

Removing Race from eGFR

Tuesday, August 18th

4:30-6:30 PM PST / 7:30 - 9:30 PM EST

Join the Institute for Healing and Justice in Medicine for our Fall 2020 “teach-out” series centered on uplifting student activism and interdisciplinary collaborations across the country in the form of case studies. Each event will feature speakers with expertise in the topic (e.g. planning a rally, writing an op-ed, legislatively advocacy, curricula reform, removing race from algorithms), as well as tactical breakout sessions to foster dialogue, strategizing, and a cross-institutional community. 

We are so excited to announce that our first teach-out event will be about removing the race correction factor from eGFR calculations, on August 18th, from 4:30-6:30PM PST/ 7:30-9:30PM EST. We will hear from both students and faculty from UCSF, UW, Brown, and Vanderbilt on the processes that folks took to get to this point. We will then break out into small groups and resource-share - this event is open regardless of where your institution is in this process!

August 13, 2020 | The Vera Institute of Justice Summer Justice Forum

Join the Vera Institute of Justice and Graduate Students of Color for Justice Initiative for our second annual Summer Justice Forum. The forum will bring together graduate students and young professionals for a conversation with leading advocates to understand this moment’s meaning for the larger justice movement and for their own lives and careers. 

The Summer Justice Institute will be held on August 13, 2020 at 6pm EST. 

Speakers include:
Dr. Bettina Love: Professor, Author and Co-Founder of The Abolitionist Teaching Network
Paola Mendoza: Co-Founder of The Soze Agency, Co-Founder of Resistance Revival Chorus, Film Director, Activist and Author
Victor Obaseki: Director of Race, Equity and Inclusion at the Vera Institute of Justice
LaShyra "Lash" Nolen: Student Council President, Harvard Medical School
Josh Odam: Founder and Curator, Healing While Black LLC 

August 13, 2020 | Health Equity, Racism, and This Moment in Time | The Hastings Center

Presented by the Hastings Center as the first in a new discussion series, "Securing Health in a Troubled Time".

Disparate health outcomes for people of color and the poor have been recognized for decades, but the pandemic has made them inescapably visible. Visible, too, is the racism that accounts for the cruelty witnessed, as millions watched George Floyd’s murder. We know the social causes of these inequities and the policies that could address them. Yet as a nation we have failed to act. Now, we face three simultaneous crises–in public health, in the economy, and in the American relationship to race. Can we seize the moment to advance health and well-being for all of us?  What’s at stake if we don’t? What are the best ways to proceed?

Richard Besser, president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and former acting director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Herminia Palacio, president of the Guttmacher Institute and former deputy mayor for Health and Human Services for the City of New York

Mildred Z. Solomon, president of The Hastings Center

View the session recording here.

August 11, 2020 | Reborn Not Reformed: Re-Imagining Policing for the Public’s Health

Join APHA for the third webinar in the Advancing Racial Equity series. We’ll cover systemic racism in policing and explore options for the future.

The third webinar in APHA's Advancing Racial Equity series will:

  • Describe how racism operates in policing and the limitations of reform efforts
  • Discuss the acute and chronic health impacts of over policing on Black and Latinx communities
  • Explain what “Re-Imagining Policing” means for public safety, public health and society overall; and
  • Identify and address the ways in which policing occurs in public health and other sectors.


Mighty Fine, MPH, CHES, Director, Center for Public Health Practice and Professional Development at APHA


Daniel Webster, ScD, MPH, Bloomberg Professor of American Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health


Keon Gilbert, DrPH, MPA, Associate Professor of Behavioral Science and Health Education at Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice and Co-Founder of the Institute for Healing Justice and Equity

Rashawn Ray, PhD, David M. Rubenstein Fellow at The Brookings Institution, and Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park

Kanwarpal Dhaliwal, MPH, Co-founder and Associate Director of the RYSE Center and has served as Adjunct Faculty at San Francisco State University

Omid Bagheri Garakani, MPH, Director of Equity and Community Partnership at JustLead Washington and Clinical Faculty at the University of Washington School of Public Health

The panel discussion was followed by a Q&A session with the webinar audience. The webinar was recorded will be available for on-demand viewing on APHA’s website within a week of the live event. 

Webinar participants can earn 1.5 CPH, CME, CNE, or CHES continuing education credits.

View the session transcript here.

August 2, 2020 | COVID-19, Climate, and Community: Making Connections to Achieve Justice for All | Right to Health

On August 2nd, Right to Health hosted the web-in: “COVID-19, Climate, and Community: Making Connections to Achieve Justice for All.”  It takes a deep dive into the link between the COVID-19 pandemic and climate justice, and strategizes in small groups about actions to prevent future pandemics and achieve environmental justice for all.

View session recording here.

August 2020 | Ethics Talk: Embodied History, Health Justice, and COVID-19 | AMA Journal of Ethics

Ethics Talk: Embodied History, Health Justice, and COVID-19, Part 1

In this video edition of Ethics Talk, journal editor in chief, Dr Audiey Kao, talks with Dr Nancy Krieger about the population health impacts of historical injustices and structural racism.

Nancy Krieger, PhD is a professor of social epidemiology in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.

For a recording of Part 1 of this conversation, click here.

For a recording of Part 2 of this conversation, click here.

July 30, 2020 | End-of-life care in England during the Covid-19 Pandemic | Royal Anthropological Institute


Thursday 30 July 2020 at 3pm (BST)

End-of-life care in England during the Covid-19 Pandemic
Dr Erica Borgstrom, Open University
Dr Simon Cohn, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Dr Annelieke Driessen, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

The pandemic is inescapably foregrounding questions relating to death and dying. The number and time-concentration of COVID-19 patients requiring end-of-life care is stretching NHS resources in the UK, while the care of other patients is in danger of being displaced. Professionals are having to make rapid and often very difficult decisions, concerning who is appropriate for specialist care, the need for planning in advance, and the urgency to talk with patients and relatives about these issues, often despite physical distancing. This seminar will explore the ways in which end-of-life care has been foregrounded and changed, examining what the consequences of this arising from urgency of the pandemic are rather than more ecological changes across the NHS and society more generally.

Good death, bad deaths and the subject with/without care
Dr Arnar Árnason, University of Aberdeen

The Covid-19 crisis is, among other things, a crisis of death. It is a crisis of death not only because of the number of deaths or the very uneven way in which its mortality is distributed, but also in the way in which people die of Covid-19. Anthropologists have long noted the culturally variable and widely important notion of a 'good death' while the interdisciplinary death studies have detailed what kind of deaths are marked as 'good' in broadly speaking contemporary western cultural contexts. Drawing on insights from these fields, I propose to discuss 'good death' and bad deaths in Iceland and the UK during Covid-19, and what they reveal about everyday politics of subjects of care.

Session recording forthcoming.

July 29, 2020 | The False Choice: Public vs. Economic Health | Global Columbia Collaboratory

The pandemic is projected to cost the US almost $8 trillion over the next 10 years. It isn’t alone, unfortunately. No country will be immune from the toll. Knowing the cost, as well as the complexity, how can we think our way through this to optimize the ability to resume work and education, but not at the price of compromised health? Where should we be investing to build back better and healthier? Is our choice really, as some argue, between a robust economy and investing in health?

This webinar, part of the Global Columbia Collaboratory, will tackle this question from several viewpoints:

  • Is good health and the prevention of disease good for an economy, and is it a public good?
  • What is the most economical way to achieve a healthy population?
  • As we rebuild our economy, could this be an opportunity to address other global crises at the same time—sustainability, climate change, and inequity—as well as public health?
  • Are there countries taking a different approach, putting human health, well-being, and sustainability at the center of the economy they will build? 

View the session recording here.

July 29, 2020 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 Response: Promising Practices in Health Equity

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 Response: Promising Practices in Health Equity 

Wednesday, July 29, 2020, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. ET

Please join us for another webinar focused on sharing promising public health practices to reduce COVID-19 related disparities. During this webinar, presenters will discuss actions taken to mitigate the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on racial and ethnic minorities. Additionally, speakers will take these ideas a step further and examine how they can be integrated into longer-term strategies for lasting impact that will strengthen future responses and advances health equity. Please feel free to share this announcement with others who might be interested.


Dr. Leandris Liburd

Director of the Office of Minority Health and Health Equity/ Chief Health Equity Officer of the CDC COVID-19 Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention



Dr. Aletha Maybank

Chief Health Equity Officer, GVP, American Medical Association


Mr. David Saunders 

Office of Health Equity Director, Pennsylvania Department of Health


Mr. James E. Bloyd, MPH 

Regional Health Officer, Cook County Department of Public Health

Webinar available here.

July 22, 2020 | Tracking and Treating Coronavirus in China and Beyond | Columbia Weatherhead East Asia Institute

Presented by the Columbia Weatherhead East Asia Institute

Wednesday, July 22, 2020 from 8pm-9:30pm

This panel, part of the WEAI in a COVID-19 remote lecture series, features brief presentations and discussion by anthropologists who have conducted extensive fieldwork exploring Chinese medicine, infectious disease, and pandemic preparedness in the People's Republic. Our conversation will include an exploration of the linkages between SARS and coronavirus, in particular focusing on rural health, wet markets and their regulation, transnational strategies for disease surveillance, and visceral forms of racism. We will also discuss the roles that traditional Chinese medicine practitioners are playing as entrepreneurs and researchers in responding to the current coronavirus challenge.

View the session recording here.


Join the conversation on Twitter with #CovidWorldWEAI

July 22, 2020 | Is COVID-19 a turning point in history? Learning from the past | The British Academy

The course of human history has been shaped by war, disease and natural disaster. Whether the Black Death, world wars or COVID-19, these crises have sent shockwaves across the globe, with far-reaching social, political and economic consequences. In this event, distinguished historian Margaret MacMillan joins Hetan Shah to discuss major turning points in history, and how insights from the many and varied catastrophes of the past can help us to make sense of the present.

The British Academy’s Shape the Future programme examines the societal, economic and cultural implications of the pandemic

Speaker: Professor Margaret MacMillan Hon FBA, Historian; public intellectual; Emeritus Professor of International History, University of Oxford; Professor of History, University of Toronto

Chair: Hetan Shah, Chief Executive, The British Academy

Is COVID-19 a turning point in history? Learning from the past

View the session recording here.

July 21, 2020 | The Coronavirus Pandemic: Unequal Risks for Communities of Color | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Facebook Live Q&A with Nancy Krieger, Professor of Social Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Presented jointly by The Forum at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and The World from PRX & WGBH
Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed entrenched health inequities in the U.S. that are propelled by social structures and influenced by factors ranging from housing conditions to transportation options to quality food access. Black Americans are experiencing the highest overall COVID-19 mortality rate in America. And a recent analysis further confirmed the extent of such disparities — with Black Americans, as well as Hispanics and Latinos, carrying a disproportionate burden of years of potential life lost due to the pandemic.

One of the authors of that analysis, Harvard Chan Professor Nancy Krieger, took your questions about health inequities and the pandemic during a Facebook Live Q&A with The World’s Elana Gordon on July 21.

Part of: Coronavirus Pandemic Series, Policy Controversies.

Presented jointly by The Forum at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and The World from PRX & WGBH

View the session recording here.

July 15, 2020 | Sharing the latest in COVID-19 research at Columbia Symposium Series

Presented by Columbia University.

Due to intellectual property concerns including the showing of unpublished data, only Columbia affiliates may attend the live symposium. Select videos from the most recent symposium, and summaries of all previous symposia, are available below. Videos of previous symposia are available to watch on YouTube.

Symposium Agenda

8:30 am: Andrea Califano, PhD, Stephen Goff, PhD, Eric Greene, PhD, Andy Marks, MD, Introductory Remarks

8:35 am: Kathleen M. Capaccione, MD, PhD, Resident, Radiology & Mary M. Salvatore, MD, MBA, Associate Professor of Radiology, CUIMC, "Pulmonary Embolism Rate in Patients with COVID-19"

8:55 am: Philip Greengard, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Laboratory of Dr. Andrew Gelman, Applied Statistics Center, Columbia University, "DNA-encoded Libraries and High Dimensional Data"

9:15 am: Robert Klitzman, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons, Joseph Mailman School of Public Health, Director, Online and In-person Masters of Bioethics Programs, Columbia University, “Ethical Challenges Posed by Covid-19”

9:35 am: Sang Won Lee, PhD Candidate, Laboratory of Dr. Helen H. Lu & Helen H. Lu, Ph.D., Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Chair of Faculty Promotion, Tenure and Advancement, School of Engineering, Director, Biomaterials and Interface Tissue Engineering Laboratory, Columbia University, Title TBD

9:55 am: BREAK

10:05 am: Jaehyun Kim, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Laboratory of Dr. Chunhua Weng & Chunhua Weng, PhD, FACMI, Professor of Biomedical Informatics. Columbia University, "Data-Driven COVID-19 Clinical Trial Eligibility Criteria Optimization"

10:25 am: Florence Hudson, Executive Director, Northeast Big Data Innovation Hub, Data Science Institute, Columbia University, COVID Information Commons

10:45 am: Muredach Reilly, MBBCh, MSCE, Professor of Medicine, Director, Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, Associate Dean, Clinical and Translational Research, Director, Cardiometabolic Precision Medicine Program, CUIMC, Title TBD

11:05 am: Arnab Chatterjee, PhD, Vice President, Medicinal Chemistry, Calibr at Scripps Research, "Leveraging the World’s Leading Drug Repurposing Collection Against COVID-19"

Please contact with any questions or comments.

Watch clips from the Symposium here.

July 15, 2020 | What are the Obligations of the State During a Pandemic | Empire State Bioethics Consortium

Presented by the Empire State Bioethics Consortium.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020 6:00-7:30 pm EST


Nancy Neveloff Dubler LL.B (Albert Einstein College of Medicine)

Joseph J. Fins, MD, MACP, FRCP (Weill Cornell Medical College) 

Ken Goodman, PhD (University of Miami)

Tia Powell, MD (Albert Einstein College of Medicine)

Rabbi Claudio J. Kogan, MD, MBE, (Rabbi, Physician & Ethicist; Texas)

Moderated by Robert Klitzman, MD (Columbia University)

Please RSVP here.

This will be the first of four webinars sponsored by the Empire State Bioethics Consortium on SHARING INSIGHTS ABOUT COVID & ETHICS ACROSS STATES.  Please join us for the other sessions as well:

Wednesday, July 22, 2020: Ethics Consultation during COVID

Wednesday, July 29, 2020: Communication, Palliative Care, and End of Life

Wednesday, August 5, 2020: Justice and Communitarian Issues

Watch the full session recording here.

July 14, 2020 | Black Bioethics: Racism, Police Brutality, and What it Means for Black Health | The American Journal of Bioethics

Presented by the American Journal of Bioethics.

Jul 14, 2020 11:00 AM in Pacific Time / 2:00 PM Eastern

Join us for our first ever AJOB webinar on Black Bioethics, hosted by associate editor Kayhan Parsi, JD, PhD, featuring panelists Keisha Ray, PhD, Brian Williams, MD, Ruqaiijah Yearby, JD, MPH, and Patrick Smith, PhD, as they discuss racism, police brutality, and what it means for black health.

Watch the full session recording here.

July 9, 2020 | Viral Modernism, The Influenza Pandemic and Interwar Literature | Columbia University Press, Synapsis, a health humanities journal, the Institute for Ideas and Imagination, the Columbia Maison Française, and the Alliance Program

Book Talk: Viral Modernism, The Influenza Pandemic and Interwar Literature

A Conversation with Elizabeth Outka and Sarah Cole

Thursday, July 9, 1pm EST | 7pm GMT+2


The influenza pandemic of 1918–1919 took the lives of between 50 and 100 million people worldwide, and the United States suffered more casualties than in all the wars of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries combined. Yet despite these catastrophic death tolls, the pandemic faded from historical and cultural memory in the United States and throughout Europe, overshadowed by World War One and the turmoil of the interwar period. In Viral Modernism, Elizabeth Outka reveals the literary and cultural impact of one of the deadliest plagues in history, bringing to light how it shaped canonical works of fiction and poetry.

Outka shows how and why the contours of modernism shift when we account for the pandemic’s hidden but widespread presence. She investigates the miasmic manifestations of the pandemic and its spectral dead in interwar Anglo-American literature, uncovering the traces of an outbreak that brought a nonhuman, invisible horror into every community. Viral Modernism examines how literature and culture represented the virus’s deathly fecundity, as writers wrestled with the scope of mass death in the domestic sphere amid fears of wider social collapse. Outka analyzes overt treatments of the pandemic by authors like Katherine Anne Porter and Thomas Wolfe and its subtle presence in works by Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, and W. B. Yeats. She uncovers links to the disease in popular culture, from early zombie resurrection to the resurgence of spiritualism. Viral Modernism brings the pandemic to the center of the era, revealing a vast tragedy that has hidden in plain sight.

Watch the full session recording here.

July 8, 2020 | Public Trust and Justice in the Time of COVID-19 | Columbia Center for Science and Society

Presented by the Columbia University Center for Science and Society.

July 8, 2020 at 5:30-7:00pm ET

A major challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic has centered on the public's attitude toward and reception of the guidance and advice of public health experts and government leaders. We would like to expand this discussion to critical issues of health justice and deepening racial disparities that have been laid bare by the COVID-19 crisis and its deadly toll among communities of color, and the ongoing social and psychological trauma that has been exacerbated by recent police killings. These issues raise questions about structural inclusion and exclusion that affect the ways that communities put their trust in leaders during a pandemic, and the vision of reform that we seek going forward. 

One of the hardest hit areas has been in central Queens, where inequity in jobs, precarious housing, poor working conditions, and lack of access to healthcare and other services, are fueling both the spread and the lethality of the virus. The dislocation and fears associated with immigration status, ethnicity, and race pose a sharp challenge to local communities and their needs. This panel will bring together elected officials and community leaders to help change the narrative around the virus to also focus on ways we can build public trust, reimagine stronger social solidarities, and secure social justice during this time of COVID-19 and for the future.

Event Speakers:

Jeffrion Aubry, Assembly member for the 35th district in Queens and New York State Speaker Pro Tempore, New York State Assembly

Saeeda L. Dunston, Executive Director at Elmcor Youth and Services Activities, Inc.

Annetta Seecharran, Executive Director at Chhaya Community Development Corporation

Moderated by Samuel Kelton Roberts, Associate Professor of History and Sociomedical Sciences and Institute Research Fellow in African American Studies at Columbia University.

Watch the full session recording here.

July 1, 2020 | COVID, White Power & The Unseeing of Race Again

Presented by Under the Blacklight. 

A conversation with Barbara Arnwine, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Camara Phyllis Jones, Jonathan Metzl, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor.

Why is it so difficult for us to connect the twin crises that we face? Indeed, as the coronavirus’ death toll rises, it seems the long-overdue coming-to-grips with this country’s ideology of white supremacy is falling to the wayside. Yet the racial realities of the pandemic expose a social order behaving precisely as it's supposed to -- it reveals that the overwhelming precarity of Black life is central to the American creed. It's central to both the epidemic of police violence, and our ignorance-fueled virus. 

View session recording here.  You can also find previous episodes of our Under The Blacklight series on YouTube.

June 30, 2020 | How to Run a Hospital during a Pandemic: Hospital Administration Ethical and Legal Challenges in the Time of COVID-19 | The Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School

Presented by The Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School.

Hospital administration is complex during the best of times. Hospitals are now struggling to respond to the surge of COVID-19 patients, including obtaining enough PPE, ventilators, and other materials. They must also manage a sharp decrease in revenue from a pause on most other medical procedures. Hospitals are also considering the needs of their workforces, both in terms of overwhelmed clinicians treating COVID-19 patients and providers with little to no work because their practices have been put on pause.

This panel will discuss the challenges facing hospitals during the pandemic, including workforce, financial, and supply chain concerns. How can hospitals “rise to the occasion?” What duties do they owe to their employees, their patients, their board of trustees or shareholders, and their communities?

Session recording forthcoming.

June 30, 2020 | Decarceration and Community: COVID 19 and Beyond

Presented by The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.

The Radcliffe Institute is offering a two-part series of virtual programs to explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on incarcerated people.  Part II of this discussion series considers how public officials responsible for the operation of jails and prisons are responding to the current pandemic. What challenges and opportunities present themselves, given the reality of COVID-19 in carceral spaces? Responding to the issues raised by impacted people during the first session, how do we understand public health in and around carceral spaces, and how do we develop strategies to keep communities safe during the pandemic? Drawing on decades of collective experience running county jails and state prisons along with expertise in addressing health concerns within and outside such settings, the panelists will consider possible solutions, including justice reinvestment, decarceration, and early release.

Patricia Caruso, former director, Michigan Department of Corrections

Harold Clarke, director, Virginia Department of Corrections; former director, Massachusetts Department of Correction and Nebraska Department of Correctional Services; former secretary, Washington State Department of Corrections

Homer Venters, president, Community Oriented Correctional Health Services; clinical instructor, NYU Langone Health; former chief medical officer, NYC Health + Hospitals/Correctional Health Services; former director of programs; Physicians for Human Rights

Moderated by Mary T. Bassett, director of the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights and FXB Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; former commissioner, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Watch the full session recording here.

June 26, 2020 | Amplifying Community Voices: LGBTQ Health and Wellbeing during COVID-19 | Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

Presented by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University.

Friday, June 26, noon

With Pride canceled and many other community and social supports suspended during the pandemic, COVID-19 presents particular challenges to the health and well-being of LGBTQ people, who already experience health disparities. Drawing from LGBTQ history and recent political events, this Radcliffe webinar brings together historians, physicians, and organizers to discuss the disparate impact of the pandemic on the physical and mental health of sexual and gender minorities, as they explore the resilience of queer communities in times of crisis.


  • Katie Batza, associate professor and director of graduate studies, Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, University of Kansas
  • Robert Goldstein, medical director, Transgender Health Program, Massachusetts General Hospital; instructor in medicine, Harvard Medical School; candidate, US Congress (MA-08)
  • Jessica Halem, LGBTQ outreach and engagement director, Harvard Medical School
  • Cecil R. Webster, lecturer in psychiatry, McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School; consultant for diversity health outreach programs, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other area schools

An audience Q and A will follow the individual presentations.

View session recording here.

June 25, 2020 | Care for the Polis: Cities, Health, and the Humanities | Care for the Polis

Presented by the Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University.

The seventh Care for the Polis panel is focused on institutions and injustice during the Covid-19 pandemic. With Rita Charon and Margaret Crosby-Arnold. Free and open to the public; RSVP required (good for all panels).

Care for the Polis is an online conference that exists in a multi-temporal and virtual space. The conference is designed to reimagine how medical humanities and public humanities shape, and are shaped by, the city and its diverse publics. In a series of weekly Z-Panels, our invited speakers will discuss the effects of health on the conception of cities and publics—including, in the context of pandemic, the foreclosure of public space and what it means to become an online yet domestic-bound public. Together, we will address emerging concerns such as economic impact and recovery, domesticity and democracy, public care and public reconstruction.

Session recording forthcoming.

June 24, 2020 | Inclusion in the time of COVID-19: The Hidden Violence of Race | UNESCO

This UNESCO webinar will take place on Wed, June 24 at 4 pm CEST (Paris time) / 10 am EST , and is organized by the UNESCO program on “The Slave Route: Resistance, Liberty, Heritage”

Watch the full recording in English here.

Watch the full recording in French here.

Full Program below in CEST time

From December, the world has been gradually immersed in the COVID-19 sanitary crisis forcing most of the countries, one by one, to close any economical and social activities to try as much as possible to contain the spreading of the pandemic. First the virus was presented by the WHO experts as a public health emergency touching everybody, men/women, young/old, Asians/Europeans/Africans/etc., poor/rich, etc. In another words, it was presented as a non-discriminatory pandemic. 

But after a couple of months and the production of some statistics, it appears that if the virus obviously does not discriminate, it clearly reveals the discriminatory structure and the deep social and economic inequalities of our societies. If everybody can be equally affected by the virus, the exposure and the consequences of the pandemic reveal the historical injustices faced by certain communities. 


Early data of the Covid-19 crisis, broken down by race, is alarming. The case of the African Americans in the United States of America is now relatively well documented by the figures. In Chicago, as of early April 2020, 72% of people who died of coronavirus were black, although only one-third of the city’s population is. In Georgia, as of 17 April, white people accounted for 40% of Covid-19 cases where race was reported, although they represent 58% of the state. The disparity in the city of Milwaukee is just as clear. Census data shows that black people comprise about 41% of the city’s population, yet they have nearly half of the city’s Covid-19 cases. And 44 of the 67 people who have died in the county were black.

For most of the experts working on the social influence on health, this is roughly the consequences of 150 years of slavery followed by 100 years of Jim Crow. That means that black in the US, especially in the South, aged 60 and older were born during the era of separate and unequal access to education, healthcare, housing, criminal justice, and economic opportunity of all kinds. Today, the African American are still mainly excluded from a full access to the space of citizenship, especially regarding socio-political and economic opportunities.

Then there are the violence of slavery and the today “everyday racism” itself. The genetic traumas related to slavery and the allostatic load (or “weathering”) referring to the accumulated physiological burden from the stresses caused by racism and race-related disadvantage, such as the frequent secretion of stress hormones explain why African Americans are more likely to develop certain types of diseases. Indeed, these populations are proportionally much more affected by cardiovascular diseases or diabetes (about 3.2 million African Americans have diabetes) than any other community in the US.

In very different contexts, the pandemic seems also to underline that race, class and gender are inextricably intertwined and constantly intersect, generating dynamic feedback loops that maintain the complex structure of social inequality and its reproduction but also affect the body and its representation. 

The understanding of the impact of racism and discrimination is too often limited to its consequences on social opportunities (education, job, housing, etc.) and the structural violence faced by people of color. But its articulation with health distribution (health being the possibility of life itself) are sometimes overlooked. 

In the line of the work of the French philosopher M. Foucault, this webinar will focus on the biopolitical aspect of the Covid-19 as a pandemic that reveal the “politic of life”, the embodiment of social injustices and the effects of a systemic racism rooted in the history of slave trade and slavery and how it structures health and access to treatment.

Starting with the US experience, the discussion will also tackle the global situation of health inequalities in South America, the Caribbean and in the Indian Ocean and how it interacts with structural racism and exposed much more “black bodies” to infection and death. The different perspectives coming from sociology, history, epidemiology, etc. would try to understand the consequences of the covid19 pandemic on “black bodies”, not as something radically new, but as a social sequence that underlines the pattern of racial health inequalities.


Opening Ceremony

Speech by:

·         Firmin Edouard Matoko, Assistant Director-General for Priority Africa and External Relations, UNESCO

·         Dr. Ramiz Alakbarov, Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director, UNFPA

Message from Artists

Video Message by Marcus Miller

Musical Moment by Anjali Strange Fruit

Keynote Speakers

Prof. Myriam Cottias, Historian, Director of research at the CNRS, former President of the French Committee for the Memory and the History of Slavery, Racism and Health: Historical perspective fromSlavery - 10mn

Prof. Nancy Krieger, Epidemiologist, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School Of Public Health, Race and Health in US in the context of Covid19: Epidemiological and Political perspectives - 10mn

Prof. Ruha Benjamin, Sociologist, African American Studies at Princeton University, Racism, Vulnerability, and Refuting Black Pathology -    10 mn

Prof. Opal Palmer Adisa, Gender Specialist, Director of The Institute for Gender and Development Studies, University of the West Indies, The impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable women in the Caribbean -10 mn

Prof. Pablo Gomez, Historian, History of Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, “Risk and Disease: Black Bodies, Inequality, and Epidemics in Latin American andCaribbean History” - 10 mn

Dr. Jurema Wermeck, Director Amnesty international Brazil, Covid19 in the favelas, a geography of race in Brazil -             10 mn

Prof. Rose Boswell, Anthropologist, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Race and social distribution of health in the Indian Ocean - 10 mn

Closing remarks

Session recording forthcoming.

June 19, 2020 | Ethics Talk: White Coats for Black Lives | AMA Journal of Ethics

Presented by the AMA Journal of Ethics.

In this video edition of Ethics Talk, journal editor in chief, Dr Audiey Kao, talks with Drs Joniqua Ceasar and Dorothy Charles about systemic racism, police brutality, and the role of health professionals in securing racial justice and health equity.

Joniqua Ceasar, MD is a resident physician in internal medicine and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Dorothy Charles, MD is a resident physician in family medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria.

Both are on the national working group of WhiteCoats4BlackLives.

View this presentation here.

June 10, 2020 | A Conversation on Race and Public Health | Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Presented by Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health/

This discussion of the public health impacts of systemic racism and violence was hosted by Dean Linda P. Fried, the Office of Diversity, Culture and Inclusion, and the Office of Student Affairs. It featured speakers Dr. Charles Branas, Dr. Raygine DiAquoi, Dr. Robert Fullilove, and Dr. Goleen Samari.  

View the session recording here.

June 9, 2020 | Racism: The Ultimate Underlying Condition

This kick-off webinar of APHA's Advancing Racial Equity series examined racism and its historic and present-day impact on health and well-being. Presenters:

  • identified the multiple levels on which racism operates;
  • described the physiological impacts of racism and discrimination on health; and
  • explored the principles for and barriers to achieving health equity. 

To access the webinar, please click here.

June 4, 2020 | COVID-19 and Health Equity: A Policy Platform and Voices from Health Departments |

Presented by Human Impact Partners in partnership with APHA, ASTHO, Big Cities Health Coalition, HealthBegins, and NACCHO.

A virtual convening to discuss how public health can play a role in advancing long-term policy solutions that center equity.

View the session recording here.

June 1, 2020 | Ethics Talk: Antiracism, Health Equity, and a Post-COVID Future | AMA Journal of Ethics

Presetned by the AMA Journal of Ethics.

In this video edition of Ethics Talk, journal editor in chief, Dr Audiey Kao, talks with Dr Ibram Kendi about the impact of racist policies on historically discriminated-against groups and what it means to be an antiracist. Ibram Kendi, PhD is the founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center and a professor of history and international relations at American University.

View the session recording here.

May 28, 2020 | Prioritizing Equity: The Root Cause | American Medical Association

Presented by a partnership between the American Medical Association.

Hear diverse perspectives on health equity, from trailblazers to current advocates, whose work is driven by the mission to address the root causes of health inequity and the social determinants of health.

View the session recording here.

May 21, 2020 | Equitable Readiness: Reimagining the Role of the Public Sector in the Wake of COVID-19 | Harvard University

Presented by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. 

What should the “new normal” look like? With the COVID-19 crisis highlighting long-standing social disparities and vast inequities, some argue that now is the time to imagine an adaptive public health infrastructure that can readily respond to this and future epidemics. In this Radcliffe webinar, leading scholars and practitioners engage in a conversation about how to leverage the policy opportunities the epidemic presents for bold changes that could support a sustained and equitable public health response. 


María Belén Power, associate executive director, GreenRoots, Inc.; representative, Green Justice Coalition

Daniel Carpenter, faculty director of the social sciences program, Radcliffe Institute, and Allie S. Freed Professor of Government, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Sara Bleich, Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor and social sciences advisor, Radcliffe Institute, and professor, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Moderated by Janet Rich-Edwards, codirector of the science program, Radcliffe Institute, associate professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, and associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.


View the session recording here.

May 21, 2020 | Responses to Covid-19: Legal and Ethical Perspectives | Columbia University

Hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, non-governmental agencies providing health care and many other organizations are wondering whether to change their standards of practice due to Covid-19, but often face legal, ethical and bioethical challenges in doing so. How do they make these decisions? Join us for an interactive discussion with a distinguished panel, including, among others:

Unni Karunakara, former International President, MSF

Amrit Ray, MD, Global President, R&D and Medical, Pfizer Upjohn

David Hoffman, JD, Columbia University, Masters of Bioethics Program

Gloria Ramsey, JD, RN, Associate Dean, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing

Robert Klitzman, MD, Moderator

View the session recording here.

May 21, 2020 | Racial Equity During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic | National Low Income Housing Coalition

Presented by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Join Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, one of America’s foremost historians and leading antiracist voices, and Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the NLIHC, for a conversation on how our housing and homelessness response to COVID-19 must center racial equity and address systemic inequities and discrimination. #RacialEquityandCOVID

View the session recording here.

May 20, 2020 | Incarcerated Populations and COVID-19: Public Health, Ethical, and Legal Concerns | The Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics | Harvard Law School

Presented by the The Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School.

Prisons, jails, and detention centers have been called ‘a ticking time bomb’ when it comes to COVID-19. One Ohio prison recently found that more than 70% of its inmates are COVID-19 positive. Social distancing is difficult to enact in these facilities, with some prisons stopping visitation and severely limiting the amount of time inmates can spend in common areas to try to limit the spread of the virus. In response, some inmates and detainees have been released, but this is not consistent across the country.

This panel will explore the unique public health challenge of trying to manage COVID-19 within incarceration facilities. We will discuss recent litigation to release people in response to the pandemic. Lastly, we will consider our ethical obligations to incarcerated individuals during a pandemic as well as challenges of releasing individuals without allowing the virus to spread further.

View the session recording here.

May 19, 2020 | Slavery, Race and Covid-19 | NUI Galway Moore Institute

Presented by the NUI Galway Moore Institute as part of the COVID-19 Response Webinar.

The unfolding coronavirus crisis ahs revealed deep structure of inequality manifested in the death toll in the United States and other counties. This seminar examines patterns of racism and legacies of slavery that have informed the pandemic, especially in the US and UK. Participants include Enrico Dal Lago (NUI Galway), Eric Foner (Columbia), Kerry Sinanan (University of Texas at San Antonio), and Koritha Mitchell (Ohio State University).

View the session recording here.

May 14, 2020 | Pandemic Means the Whole World: COVID-19 and Global Bioethics | Georgetown University

Presented by the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University.

Pandemic means the whole world. Our webinar turns the focus of discussion toward concerns raised by the COVID-19 / new corona virus pandemic for the people outside the Global North. Many regions of the world face the virus with few high-tech medical resources, strained or absent healthcare options, more density of populations or populations on the move, and existing socio-economic disadvantages.

Moderated by bioethicist Daniel Sulmasy, expert panelists Mark Dybul, Lawrence Gostin, and David Hollenbach will raise key issues, offer insights and discuss a range of medical, legal, public health and social justice concerns. Claudia Ruiz Sotomayor reports on the pandemic for Mayan communities in Mexico and Alban Pascal Noudjom Tchana considers its impact on the citizens of Cameroon.

View the session recording here.

May 10, 2020 | Racial Capitalism and the COVID-19 Catastrophe | Right to Health

In the second Right toHealth Web-In ‘Racial Capitalism and the COVID-19 Catastrophe,’ we unpack what’s led to the appalling inequalities in COVID-19 outcomes along many social fault lines, but perhaps most perniciously along the lines of race in America.  Dr. Mary Bassett, Luz Zambrano, Professor Ruha Benjamin, and Jaron Benjamin, were bold, truthful and unapologetic in their remarks.

View the session recording here.

May 1, 2020 | Health, Inequity, and COVID-19

Presented by Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University

International experience in recent months has powerfully illustrated that the COVID-19 virus has particularly harmful and disproportionate effects on already vulnerable populations. Mary T. Bassett and Khalil Gibran Muhammad discuss inequity and public health in the time of COVID-19, exploring how the virus encounters existing inequalities, replicates these inequalities, and, in many cases, amplifies them.

View the session recording here.

April 16, 2020 | Health & Human Rights in the Era of Covid-19: What are the Ethical Issues?

Presented by the Columbia University School of Professional Studies Program in Bioethics

To watch the recording of the online panel discussion about human rights and the ethical questions emerging in the COVID-19 emergency, click here.

April 16, 2020 | Racial Disparities and COVID-19

Presented by Physicians for Human Rights.

COVID-19 is inequitably impacting racial and ethnic sub-populations in the United States, with African Americans and other underrepresented groups contracting and dying of COVID-19 at markedly disproportionate rates.

To learn more and watch other past webinars on COVID-19, visit PHR's dedicated COVID-19 page.

April 14, 2020 | Disability, COVID-19, and Triage: Exploring Resource Allocation and the Framing of Disability

Presented by The Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School.

The COVID-19 Pandemic is raising difficult to answer questions regarding the allocation of scare resources, such as ventilators. Providers are struggling to triage access to ventilators ethically. Some have argued that we should consider health status and maximizing health outcomes. Others counter that using health status to determine access would discriminate against people living with disabilities, relegating them to second class status.

The Petrie-Flom Center’s book Disability, Health, Law, and Bioethics (Cambridge University Press, April 2020) seeks to understand how our framing of disability influences medical and legal policies such as resource allocation. To mark the launch of our volume and to reflect the COVID-19 health care landscape, we gathered several of our authors and editors to explore the question of ventilator allocation in regard to people living with disabilities. Our panel considered how our framing of disability influences triaging choices and how we can best ensure the ethical and non-discriminatory distribution of limited, life-saving resources.

View the session recording here.

March 4 | When Xenophobia Spreads Like A Virus | National Public Radio Code Switch

This Code Switch Podcast was presented by National Public radio.

The global response to COVID-19 has made clear that the fear of contracting disease has an ugly cousin: xenophobia.

Listen to Podcast here.