27th National Health Equity Research Webcast

This is U.S.: Dissent, Denial, and the Health of Populations

Was held on Sept. 17, 2021
3-4:30 p.m. EDT

The archive of the NHERW: This is U.S.: Dissent, Denial, and the Health of Populations webinar is available now.

This year’s panelists

Jeanette Kowalik, PhD, MPH, MCHES
Dr. Jeanette Kowalik has 19 years of progressive public health experience representing the life course.  She began her career as an intern at the City of Milwaukee Health Department in 2002; she returned in 2018 to serve as the Commissioner of Health until fall of 2020.  Jeanette was drawn to public health, so she attended Northern Illinois University’s Master of Public Health (MPH) program while maintaining full-time employment in the field.  Post completion of her MPH, Jeanette attended the Management Academy for Public Health at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; she began her doctorate in health sciences at the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Milwaukee shortly thereafter.  Her initial focus was infant mortality disparities among Black and Latinx adolescents; this shifted after she realized the significant gap in research regarding recruitment and retention of a diverse public health workforce.  Jeanette completed her coursework and dissertation while working full time for the Wauwatosa Health Department, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, and the Chicago Department of Public Health.  In the fall of 2014, Dr. Kowalik returned to Wisconsin to serve as UW-Madison’s Director of Prevention and Campus Health Initiatives. In 2016, she transitioned to the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP) in Washington DC.  Jeanette served as the Associate Director of Women’s and Infant Health at AMCHP, a professional membership organization for maternal and child health professionals nationwide. This role enabled Jeanette to focus on Social Determinants of Health, Health Equity, and Anti-racism work.  Dr. Kowalik’s diverse set of experiences continues to motivate her to represent those who are unable to have a voice and advocate for equity through policy and practice change at all levels. In 2017, she founded Jael Solutions Consulting Services, LLC to support her need to give back. The highlights of Dr. Kowalik’s public health career to date include collaborating to Declare Racism as a Public Health Crisis and prioritizing the impact of COVID-19 by race and ethnicity in Milwaukee, which motivated other jurisdictions to do the same. In essence, data sharing enabled the country to see a disturbing pattern of COVID-19 incidence among BIPOC. This increased awareness led to recalibration of outreach strategies and resources to save lives.  Dr. Kowalik returned to Washington D.C. in late 2020 to serve as the Director of Policy Development for the Trust for America’s Health, a non-profit, bi-partisan health policy organization. She also continues to collaborate and build capacity through Jael Solutions, LLC.

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Ph.D.
Eduardo Bonilla-Silva is the James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of sociology at Duke University. He gained visibility in the social sciences with his 1997 American Sociological Review article, “Rethinking Racism: Toward a Structural Interpretation,” where he challenged analysts to study racial matters structurally rather than from the sterile prejudice perspective. His book, Racism Without Racists (6th edition appearing late in 2021), has become a classic in the field and influenced scholars in education, religious studies, political science, rhetoric, psychology, political science, legal studies, and sociology.

To date he has published five books, namely, White Supremacy and Racism in the Post-Civil Rights Era (co-winner of the 2002 Oliver Cox Award given by the American Sociological Association), Racism Without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States (2004 Choice Award and again in 2015), White Out: The Continuing Significance of Racism (with Ashley Doane), in 2008 White Logic, White Methods: Racism and Methodology (with Tukufu Zuberi and also the co-winner of the 2009 Oliver Cox Award), and in 2011 State of White Supremacy: Racism, Governance, and the United States (with Moon Kie Jung and João H. Costa Vargas).

His most recent work include an article titled, “‘Racists,’ ‘Class Anxieties,’ Hegemonic Racism, and Democracy in Trump’s America,” in Social Currents (2018), “Feeling Race: Theorizing the racial Economy of Emotions,” in the American Sociological Review, (2019), “Color-blind Racism in Pandemic Times,” in the Sociology of Race and Ethnicity (2020),  “¿Aqu no hay racismo: Apuntes Preliminares sobre lo racial en las Américas,” in Revista de Humanidades (2020), “On the Racial Fantasies of White Liberals in Trump’s America and Beyond,” in Amerikastudien / American Studies: A Quarterly (2021) and “What makes ‘Systemic Racism’ Systemic?” in Sociological Inquiry (2021). He is working on papers to (1) reorient the work on microagressions, (2) on how to theorize racial formations in the Americas and the Caribbean, (3) on the import of normative, habituated behavior in the reproduction of systemic racism, and (4) on explaining why people in Latin America do not interpret overtly racist images as racist.

Mandy Carter

Mandy Carter, 72, is a North Carolina African-American lesbian activist with a 54-year movement history of social, racial and LGBTQ justice organizing since 1967.  Raised in two orphanages and a foster home, Ms. Carter attributes the influences of the Quaker-based American Friends Service Committee, the former Institute for the Study of Nonviolence, and the pacifist-based War Resisters League for her sustained multi-racial and multi-issue organizing. www.afsc.org  www.warresisters.org

At the age of 20 she participated in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. inspired 1968 Poor People’s Campaign organized by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) that solidified her sustained commitment to nonviolence. The Poor People’s Campaign was the last project Dr. King was working on before his assassination in Memphis, TN on April 4, 1968.  At the age of 70 she participated in the 2018 Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival marking its 50th anniversary 1968-2018 www.poorpeoplescampaign.org

Ms. Carter helped co-found two groundbreaking organizations.  Southerners On New Ground (SONG) and the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC).   SONG, founded in 1993, is about building progressive movement across the South by creating transformative models of organizing that connects race, class, culture, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity. Specifically, SONG integrates work against homophobia into freedom struggles in the South. She served as its Executive Director from 2003-2005. www.southernersonnewground.org

With awards from many human rights and community organizations to acknowledge her achievements, Ms. Carter list of achievements includes:

  • Ms. Carter was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize as part of the 1000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005 in order to recognize, make visible and celebrate the impressive and valuable, yet often invisible peace work of thousands of women around the world.  The 1000 women from 150 countries were guided in their work by nonviolence, integrity, and selflessness. www.1000peacewomen.org
  • The 2015 Union Medal, the highest honor from the Union Theological Seminary, a leading progressive seminary and voice for justice. www.utsnyc.edu

The Mandy Carter Papers Collection was acquired as part of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture.  Repository of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. http://library.duke.edu/rubenstein/findingaids/cartermandy

Ms. Carter lives in Durham, North Carolina.

This year’s moderator

Leoneda Inge
Leoneda Inge is WUNC’s Race and Southern Culture Reporter. Her work explores modern and historical constructs to tell stories of poverty and wealth, health and food culture, and education and racial identity. During the coronavirus pandemic, Leoneda co-hosted the podcast “Tested,” highlighting the disproportionate impact Race has played in testing, vaccinating and caring for People of Color with COVID19. These stories include – “Taking Testing to the People,” “Not Your Guinea Pig” and “Singing The Pandemic Blues.” Leoneda is the recipient of many awards and was named “Journalist of Distinction” by the National Association of Black Journalists in 2017. Leoneda is a graduate of Florida A&M University and Columbia University, where she earned her Master’s Degree in Journalism as a Knight-Bagehot Fellow. Leoneda’s international fellowships have taken her to Berlin, Seoul, Tokyo and Durban.

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The archive of the NHERW: This is U.S.: Dissent, Denial, and the Health of Populations webinar is available now.


Webcast Archive

“Thank you for selecting three speakers who were excellent and provided three different and thought provoking perspectives on health disparities. I appreciate the provision of the slides and handouts for the presentations.”

– Viewer (Los Angeles, CA)