Justin Feldman will speak at the next Human Ecology Forum at College of the Atlantic on Feb. 20. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE COLLEGE OF THE ATLANTIC

Talk to explore racism, health and police violence

BAR HARBOR — The effects of economic inequality and institutional and interpersonal violence on racial health inequities will be explored by Harvard doctoral candidate and social epidemiologist Justin Feldman at College of the Atlantic’s Human Ecology Forum in McCormick Lecture Hall on Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 4:10 p.m.

Since the 19th century, some scientists have explained the relatively poorer health of black and indigenous peoples as a product of their innate, biological inferiority compared to whites. Yet, opponents of this theory have long argued that the health disparities are rooted in inequalities in wealth and power, not differences in genetic constitution.

In his talk, Feldman will trace the history of these debates over race and health to the present, and in doing so, he will present original research on the connection between police violence and racial health inequities.

“The events of the last few years, from Ferguson to Charlottesville, show us unambiguously that racial disparities in this country persist and that white supremacist movements are growing,” said Doreen Stabinsky, COA professor of global environmental politics. “Justin’s talk will provide important perspective on a timely issue.”

Feldman, a 2007 graduate of COA, is a social epidemiologist and doctoral candidate at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences. His work examines the ways in which structural racism and economic inequality influence population health, particularly in regard to interpersonal and state violence. In March 2018, he will begin working at NYU School of Medicine Department of Population Health as assistant professor of epidemiology.

Feldman’s presentation is co-sponsored by the COA Thoreau Environmental Leaders Initiative.

The Human Ecology Forum is a free, weekly speaker series based on the work of the academic community, which also draws on artists, poets, and political and religious leaders from around the world. Members of the public are invited to attend.


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