Conference 2016

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Structural Competency:
New Responses to Inequity and Discrimination in Health and Welfare

Structural competency is a new framework for understanding and responding to the inequalities that make individuals and populations sick. This framework analyzes institutional and structural hierarchies and discrimination in order to confront the ways these lead to sickness and disease. This conference, the first focused on structural competency in the contexts of public health and social welfare, will bring together national experts and local community organizations to imagine paths toward a more equal and healthy future.

Photos of the conference are available here.

Videos of the conference are available here.

Please use #structuralcompetency to spread the word on social media!


Friday, November 4, 2016 

12 – 1:00PM:  Structural Competency: Undoing Inequity and Discrimination in Health and Welfare

Introduction: Seth M. Holmes, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Public Health and Medical Anthropology and Co-Chair of the Berkeley Center for Social Medicine, UC Berkeley

Welcome: Stef Bertozzi, Dean, School of Public Health

Introduction of the Keynote Speaker: Nancy Scheper-Hughes, PhD, Chancellor's Professor and Chair of Medical Anthropology, UC Berkeley

Keynote: Helena Hansen, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Anthropology, New York University. “Structural Competency: Medicine for the Inequalities that Make Us Sick.”

1:15 – 2:30PM: Structural Competency for Health Justice

Bruce Link, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Public Policy, UC Riverside: "Fundamental Causes and Fundamental Interventions for Health"
James Quesada, PhD, Professor and Chair of Anthropology, San Francisco State University: "Structural Vulnerability as a Tool for Health Justice"
Moderator: Denise Herd, PhD, Professor of Public Health and Program Director of Health and Social Behavior, UC Berkeley


2:45 – 3:45PM:  Structural Competency for the Future of the Bay Area: Developing structural competency and structural humility trainings

Rad-Med (Critical Social Medicine Working Group). The structural competency training packet is available for a free download at this link. 
Kelly Knight, PhD, Assistant Professor, Anthropology, History, and Social Medicine, UC San Francisco; and Faculty Representative, Bridges Curriculum (Social and Behavioral Sciences), UCSF School of Medicine
Nick Nelson, MD, Department of Medicine, Highland Hospital
Shirley Strong, MEd, Chief Diversity Officer, Samuel Merritt University

Moderator: Seth M. Holmes, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Public Health and Medical Anthropology and Co-Chair of the Berkeley Center for Social Medicine, UC Berkeley


4-5:30PM: Structural Humility and Community Justice: Building Solidarity and Engagement
A brief guide to the organizations is available for download at this link.

Robbie Clark, Lead Organizer, Causa Justa :: Just Cause, and Member, Black Lives Matter Bay Area; Twitter: @love4liberation
Woods Ervin, Program and Policy Director, TGI Justice Project, a group of transgender, gender variant and intersex people—inside and outside of prisons, jails and detention centers—creating a united family in the struggle for survival and freedom
Solange Gould, MPH, DrPH, Policy Unit Chief, Office of Health Equity, California Department of Public Health
Rupa Marya MD, Assistant Professor, UCSF School of Medicine, and Faculty Director, Do No Harm Coalition, a group of over 300 doctors, nurses, faculty, students and staff at UCSF committed to ending racism and state-sanctioned violence.
Chris NielsenNational Nurses United
Megan Rees, LPCC, Member, Oakland Power Projects; Behavioral Health Clinical Trainer and Volunteer, Anti Police-Terror Project First Responders
Katherine Schaff, MPH, DrPh,  Health Equity Coordinator, Alameda County Public Health Department

Moderator: Kurt Organista, PhD, Professor of Social Welfare, UC Berkeley

Thank You: DICE (Diversity, Inclusion, Community, Equity), School of Public Health, UC Berkeley

                 John Balmes, MD, Director, UCB-UCSF Joint Medical Program

5:30-6:00PM: Networking


Sponsored by Berkeley Center for Social Medicine, School of Public Health, and Samuel Merritt University

Co-sponsored by DICE; Rad MedStudents for Racial justice, Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (STRIDE)UCSF Global Health SciencesSchool of Social WelfareHealth Equity and Diversity Cluster of the Haas institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society

This event is funded by the UCB Graduate Assembly. Open to all and free of charge. Event is ADA accessible. For disability accommodation requests and information, please contact Disability Access Services by phone at 510.643.6456 (voice) or 510.642.6376 (TTY) or by email at

Berkeley Center for Social Medicine
2420 Bowditch Street #5670
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-5670
TEL: 510.642.0813
FAX: 510.642.8674
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