Last weekend, Harvard University held its first-ever “Black Health Matters” conference to help attendees gain “an understanding of how to develop interdisciplinary approaches to addressing health issues within the Black Community.”

Consisting of panels and workshops focused on addressing an imbalance regarding health issues within the black community, the conference lauded itself as an opportunity for “students and speakers from across the country to explore how past and present sociopolitical climates have impacted the health of Black communities.”

The weekend was split by subjects, with Saturday focused the statistics regarding health outlooks as related to black versus white Americans, and Sunday dedicated to discussing options for effecting change.

One example of a well-received panel was “ZIP Code vs. Genetic Code: Social Determinants of Health,” which suggested there is a health impact in racially-segregated neighborhoods.

Tania Fabo, a conference co-director, further explained the reasoning behind the conference, as reported by The Crimson:

“As an interdisciplinary conference, we are focusing on how health disparities can be addressed across sectors, whether that is using the legal system as a tool to fight modern mechanisms of oppression, improving health literacy and education among Black youths, or recognizing the harmful bias against Black patients that exists in the medical community. When we came up with the idea for the event we didn’t want people coming and learning and leaving with nothing. You leave with these frustrations but you don’t have a mechanism to put these frustrations into action.”

The Black Health Matters Conference took place from November 10-12, 2017 at Harvard University.

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