The Courage to Lead: Scholar-Activism and Health Equity in Turbulent Times

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Camara Phyllis Jones

Camara Phyllis Jones, Senior Fellow, Satcher Health Leadership Institute and Cardiovascular Research Institute, Morehouse School of Medicine

Camara Phyllis Jones, MD, MPH, PhD is the Immediate Past President of the American Public Health Association, and a Senior Fellow in the Satcher Health Leadership Institute and the Cardiovascular Research Institute, Morehouse School of Medicine.

Dr. Jones is a family physician and epidemiologist whose work focuses on naming, measuring, and addressing the impacts of racism on the health and well-being of the nation. She seeks to broaden the national health debate to include not only universal access to high quality health care, but also attention to the social determinants of health (including poverty) and the social determinants of equity (including racism).

As a methodologist, she has developed new ways for comparing full distributions of data (rather than simply comparing means or proportions) in order to investigate population-level risk factors and propose population-level interventions. As a social epidemiologist, her work on “race”-associated differences in health outcomes goes beyond documenting those differences to vigorously investigating the structural causes of the differences. As a teacher, her allegories on “race” and racism illuminate topics that are otherwise difficult for many Americans to understand or discuss.

Andrew Curley

Andrew Curley, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Geography, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Dr. Curley received his PhD in Development Sociology at Cornell University. His research was on coal and development in the Navajo Nation. He previously worked as the deputy director at the Diné Policy Institute in the Navajo Nation where he contributed to reports on government reform, development, and Navajo social movements.

Paul Cuadros

Paul Cuadros, Associate Professor in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Media and Journalism

Cuadros emboldens students to investigate issues affecting communities, the state, the country and the world by examining race and poverty in America. He is the co-founder of two campus organizations: the Carolina Latina/o Collaborative, a Latino educational and cultural center, and the Latina/o Caucus, a coalition of faculty and staff that advocates for Latino interests on campus. He is an award-winning investigative reporter whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Time magazine,, The Chicago Reporter, and other national and local publications.  He is also the author of “A Home on the Field: How One Championship Team Inspires Hope for the Revival of Small Town America,” which tells the story of Siler City’s struggles with Latino immigration through the lives of a predominantly Latino high school soccer team. Cuadros has received numerous awards and recognitions, including a fellowship with the Alicia Patterson Foundation in 1999; the 2006 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Journalism Award; and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists’ award for online reporting.


Wizdom Powell

Wizdom Powell, Director, Health Disparities Institute, University of Connecticut Health Center and Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Connecticut School of Medicine

Dr. Powell is a trained population health disparities research scientist and clinical psychologist. She is recognized nationally for the impact of her work addressing social determinants of health inequities among boys and men of color. Resolving the widely acknowledged “gender paradox” that men, despite having more social power than women, are more likely to experience pre-mature death than women is central to this work. As a researcher and author, Dr. Powell is shaping how the intersection of race, masculinity, health beliefs and behavior are understood and addressed by psychologists and health professionals. A former White House fellow, Powell served with the Obama administration as a special adviser on military and mental health policies to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. She currently is a member of the Aspen Institute’s 2016-2018 class of Health Innovators Fellows.

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