Epidemics of Injustice
This annual course, with lectures free and open to the public, prepares public health leaders and community members with the tools to bring about social change and address structural determinants of health. All course meetings will take place virtually, convening each Thursday during the spring semester (excluding spring break) from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. CST, beginning January 11, 2024.
Epidemics of Injustice is led by the Radical Public Health student group and sponsored by the Division of Community Health Sciences at the UIC School of Public Health. Please visit the course site HERE for the latest updates and announcements.
How to participate Heading link
UIC students can enroll through the course catalogue in IPHS 430: Epidemics of Injustice using CRN: 44551.
Register HERE by self-selecting which class sessions you want to attend.
2024 Course Schedule Heading link
Overview of health equity with Dr. Linda Rae Murray.
Root cause analysis and developing a shared class dictionary with UIC Radical Public Health.
We have to stop running from the centrality of racism: place, race, and public health with Dr. David Stovall.
Power mapping with Sari Bilick from Public Health Awakened (PHA).
History of genocide and building possible worlds with Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at UIC.
Building a campaign around politicized topics with Arturo Carrillo and Elena Gormley.
Overlapping systems of oppression, cumulative disadvantage across policy domains, and how that manifests in worker exploitation in the Chicagoland area with Leone Bicchieri.
Writing public testimony / op-ed writing with Tiffany Ford.
Speaker and lecture topic to be announced soon.
Speaker and action lab topic to be announced soon.
Speaker and lecture topic to be announced soon.
Participatory budgeting action lab with Rachel Pate from Chicago United for Equity (CUE).
Mutual aid lecture with Rachel Lyons from Chicago Community Bond Fund.
Speaker and topic to be announced soon.
Class speakers Heading link
Dr. Linda Rae Murray, MPH ’80, has spent her career serving the medically underserved. She has worked in a variety of settings including Medical Director of the federally funded health center, Winfield Moody, which served Cabrini Green Public Housing Project in Chicago, Residency Director for Occupational Medicine at Meharry Medical College and Bureau Chief for the Chicago Department of Health under Mayor Harold Washington. Dr. Murray is the recently retired Chief Medical Officer for the Cook County Department of Public Health. She also practiced as a general internist at Woodlawn Health Center, was an attending physician in the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at Cook County Hospital and is an adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) School of Public Health (Occupational & Environmental Health and the Health Policy & Administration departments). Dr. Murray plays a leadership role in many organizations including the National Association of City and County Health Officers Health Equity and Social Justice Team, the national executive board of American Public Health Association and serves on the board of the Chicago based Health and Medicine Policy Research Group. In 2011, Dr. Murray served as President of the American Public Health Association. She is the Co-Chair for the Urban Health Program Community Advisory Committee at UIC. Dr. Murray has been a voice for social justice and health care as a basic human right for over forty years. She remains passionate about increasing the number of Black and Latino health professionals.
Radical Public Health (RPH) is an association of UIC students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members that seeks to address the systemic, underlying causes of public health challenges and to consider more radical solutions.
David Stovall, PhD, is a professor in the departments of Black Studies and Criminology, Law & Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). His scholarship investigates three areas 1) Critical Race Theory, 2) the relationship between housing and education, and 3) the intersection of race, place and school. In the attempt to bring theory to action, he works with community organizations and schools to address issues of equity, justice and abolishing the school/prison nexus. His work led him to become a member of the design team for the Greater Lawndale/Little Village School for Social Justice (SOJO), which opened in the Fall of 2005. Furthering his work with communities, students, and teachers, his work manifests itself in his involvement with the Peoples Education Movement, a collection of classroom teachers, community members, students and university professors in Chicago, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area who engage in collaborative community projects centered in creating relevant curriculum. In addition to his duties and responsibilities as a professor at UIC, he also served as a volunteer social studies teacher at the Greater Lawndale/Little Village School for Social Justice from 2005-2018.
Sari Bilick (she/her) is the Organizing Program Director at Human Impact Partners (HIP), based in the Bay Area in California on unceded Lisjan Ohlone land. Sari leads HIP’s organizing work, including co-coordinating Public Health Awakened, a national network of public health professionals organizing for health, equity, and justice. She has over 15 years of experience in organizing and before joining HIP worked in labor, community, and political organizing and brings extensive experience in leadership development, training, and coalition building. Sari has engaged public health practitioners, healthcare and service workers, immigrants, tenants, domestic workers, and faith communities to take action around a wide range of economic and social justice issues. She is passionate about organizing and mobilizing communities around the issues most important to them and bringing a social justice and equity lens into all spaces.
Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at UIC bio coming soon.
Arturo Carrillo, PhD, is a licensed clinical social worker and Director of Health and Violence Prevention at Brighton Park Neighborhood Council. He has led the Collaborative for Community Wellness to research and document the inequity of access to quality mental health services throughout low-income communities throughout the city and advocates for the creation of a city-wide non-police crisis response program grounded in an expanded publicly-operated mental health system in Chicago through the Treatment Not Trauma campaign.
Elena Gormley‘s bio coming soon.
Rachel Lyons (she/her) is the daughter of Diane and Dan Lyons, sister to Ruth, John, Lauren, Mark, and Kacy, partner to Terese, and aunt to four little humans. She is a member of the Chicago Community Jail Support mutual aid group and the Co-Executive Director at the Chicago Community Bond Fund. She has done rapid response jail support connected to protests and uprisings since 2017 and has been involved in daily jail support efforts outside of Cook County Jail since 2020. Rachel has a decade of experience in social justice education, facilitation, and nonprofit leadership. Rachel holds a BA in Anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis and an MA in Social Justice and Community Development from Loyola University Chicago.
Video archive Heading link
January 14 lecture
Our first course meeting focuses on “A Historical Overview of Health Inequities and Structural Racism.” Featuring Dr. Linda Rae Murray, MPH ’80, former president of the American Public Health Association.
January 21 action lab
This week’s action lab focuses on facilitated discussions and consensus building, led by Anna Yankelev, MPH ’19, strategic planning analyst with the Lake County (IL) Health Department.
January 28 lecture
Our focus this week is “Social Capital, Privilege and Positionality.” Led by Alexis Grant, community engagement fellow at the UIC School of Public Health.
February 4 action lab
Build your expertise in “Organizing 101 and Coalition Building.” Our featured speaker is Benjamin Levenson, deputy director of Justice is Global, which works for an equitable and sustainable global economy.
February 11 lecture
This week’s course focuses on mutual aid, led by the staff of Love Fridge Chicago, a mutual aid group grounded in food, working to place community refrigerators across the city.
February 18 lecture
Join us for an examination of the public health implications of and solutions to evictions. Led by Susanne Soederberg, DPhil, professor of global development studies at Queen’s University in Ontario, and Frank G. Avellone, Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing.
February 25 action lab
Join our panel-led action lab aimed at addressing evictions and modeling housing advocacy in public health practice. Panelists include Jon Wilson, community organizer, Dixon Romeo, Tenants Association Organizer and Tyler Zimmer, University of Chicago.
March 4 action lab
Arden Handler, DrPH, director of the UIC Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health, leads this week’s action lab on “Advocating to Policy Makers.”
March 11 lecture
Join in as we take a look at putting policy into action, led by staff from the Chicago Food Action Policy Council, which works for policies that advance food justice and food sovereignty in Chicago and across the region.
Action lab: art as advocacy
How can art be used for advocacy? Join an action lab led by Carrie Sandahl, PhD, director of UIC’s Program on Disability Art, Culture and Humanities.
Action lab: using public health data
Learn how to use public health data in an action lab led by Michael Cailas, PhD, an expert in public health geographic information systems at the UIC School of Public Health.
Panel discussion: environmental justice
Join experts from across Chicago advocating for environmental health justice in our neighborhoods and communities for a panel discussion.
Structural racism and the disability movement
This week we take on “Fighting Structural Racism: The Disability Movement.” Led by Washieka Torres, a disability rights scholar, activist, and documentarian at the UIC College of Applied Health Sciences.
Social change in practice
Our course series concludes with a focus on social change in practice with Camara Jones, MD, 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.