Third Annual Yosif Al-Hasnawi Memorial Lecture set for Friday

A lecture series held in honour of a Brock University student killed in 2017 continues Friday, March 19.

Yosif Al-Hasnawi, a first-year medical sciences student who had ambitions of becoming a doctor, was shot and killed in Hamilton in December 2017 while trying to protect an older man from two aggressors.

Organized by Brock’s Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, Office of Human Rights and Equity and the Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies, the third-annual Yosif Al-Hasnawi Memorial Lecture: Promoting racial justice in health care will be held online via Lifesize Friday from 1 to 3 p.m. and will welcome back guest speaker Notisha Massaquoi.

Massaquoi will present “Where do we go from here? Health care delivery in the age of racial reckoning.”

“There is clear evidence that disparities in access to health care and successful outcomes are strikingly different for racialized communities in Canada,” says Faculty of Applied Health Sciences Dean Peter Tiidus. “By continuing to educate and engage in public discussions of racism and racial equity in healthcare with our students and within our community, we are helping to improve the quality of service provision and reduce barriers to care.”

Massaquoi also delivered last year’s Yosif Al-Hasnawi lecture, but organizers asked her to return after such a powerful and meaningful 2020 lecture.

An expert in the areas of health equity, anti-oppression and anti-Black racism, she holds a PhD from the University of Toronto/OISE in Social Justice Education and has consulted globally for the United Nations Social Development Council on the subject of racism and its impact on health outcomes for workforces.

“We are very fortunate to welcome back one of Canada’s leading experts in developing equity responsive organizations,” says Associate Professor in the Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies Margot Francis. “This topic could not be more important, particularly in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement. There is a pressing need for us to name racism as a specific barrier for racialized communities in our health care system. Notisha’s experience developing policies and strategies to respond to anti-Black racism will enable us to gain a better understanding of how to go about this important work.”

Massaquoi is a past Executive Director of Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre in Toronto, which provides specialized primary health care for Black and racialized women. She has served on councils and working groups for the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies and the City of Toronto.

The lecture series was founded by Brock Medical Sciences graduate Zanab Jafry (BSc ’18) in memory of Al-Hasnawi.

“Zanab Jafry said during the 2017 vigil for Yosif that his ‘incredible sacrifice … will not be forgotten,’” says Brock Human Rights and Anti-Racism Advisor Kattawe Henry. “This is just one of the ways Brock is helping to fulfil that commitment and support the Al-Hasnawi family by honouring not only Yosif’s memory, but also his goals and aspirations.”

What: Yosif Al-Hasnawi Memorial Lecture: “Where do we go from here? Health care delivery in the age of racial reckoning” presented by Notisha Massaquoi

When: Friday, March 19 from 1 to 3 p.m.

Where: Online via Lifesize

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