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Race, Place, and COVID-19 Disparities - A Conversation with Dr. Irene Headen

Thursday, November 19, 2020
12:00pm to 1:00pm
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Online Event
Irene Headen, Assistant Professor of Black Health, Department of Community Health and Prevention, Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health,

Early in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US, the emergence of racial/ethnic disparities in cases and mortality seemed to be an unexpected twist to an already devastating pandemic. However, these inequities emerged from a foundation of structural disadvantage that has disproportionately impacted Black communities and other communities of color for decades.

This talk will explore how the long-standing structural inequality that persists across many contexts in which communities of color live, work, and play created the perfect storm for the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 in these communities that we continue to see today. Finding ways to address these structural drivers of inequities will remain key to effective pandemic response going forward.


About the Speaker

Dr. Irene Headen is an Assistant Professor of Black Health in the Department of Community Health and Prevention at the Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health. Her research investigates the social and structural determinants of racial/ethnic disparities in adverse pregnancy outcomes. Her work focuses on identifying neighborhood and community factors underlying these disparities and understanding how systems thinking can help translate these factors into multilevel interventions to improve Black maternal health outcomes. Dr. Headen received her doctoral degree in Epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley in 2015. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Drexel Urban Health Collaborative before joining the faculty in 2019.

About the Series

The Student Activism Speaker Series seeks to expose Caltech students and the community at large to the many diverse issues that face them, both locally and globally, so that they may use their skills, ingenuity, and leadership to address these issues.

The presentation of speakers should not be considered an endorsement of the speaker's views by the California Institute of Technology, The Caltech Y, or The Caltech Y Student Activism Speaker Series Committee. Views expressed are solely those of the speaker.

For more information, please contact Greg Fletcher by email at [email protected].