Yosif Al-Hasnawi Memorial Lecture to take place March 10

Identifying and breaking down barriers to equitable health care will be at the core of the fourth annual Yosif Al-Hasnawi Memorial Lecture: Promoting Racial Justice in Health Care.

Hosted by Brock University’s Department of Health Sciences on Thursday, March 10, the event will feature Baldev Mutta, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Punjabi Community Health Services, a health service provider in the Central Region of Ontario Health. He will present a talk entitled, “Dismantling structural barriers to equitable health care.”

Mutta’s presentation will look at identifying barriers to equitable health care for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) communities, while also examining the historical context of barriers, which continue to persist to date, and practical suggestions on how to start creating an equitable health-care system for all.

“Upon meeting Baldev, the lecture organizing committee felt he would be a fantastic and highly engaging speaker for our students,” says Assistant Professor of Health Sciences Valerie Michaelson. “This presentation will not only talk about how far we’ve come in being able to identify racism in the health system, but also how interrupting the racism on individual, community and societal levels has proven to be much harder.”

Sponsored in partnership with the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences; Human Rights and Equity; and the Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies at Brock University, the annual lecture helps to memorialize its namesake, Yosif Al-Hasnawi, while also encouraging advocacy for justice.

On Dec. 2, 2017, the first-year Brock Medical Sciences student was fatally shot while intervening on behalf of a stranger being accosted on the street outside of the mosque in Hamilton where he was volunteering.

In response to Al-Hasnawi’s death, Zanab JAfry (BSc ’18) founded the lecture to help fulfil a responsibility to treat anti-racism as necessary curriculum for future medical and health professionals.

“Mutta is a highly sought-after speaker of health equity issues,” Michaelson says. “With a background in social work and more than 45 years in community activism, his experience and achievements align with the purpose of this lecture. We’re confident his words will leave a lasting impact on all those who attend.”

What: “Dismantling structural barriers to equitable health care,” presented by Baldev Mutta
When: Thursday, March 10 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Where: Online through Lifesize

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