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Health Inequities and Employment: The Continued Struggle for Justice

Thursday, 31 March, 2022

Other Dates For This Event:

This two-day event is hosted by the William C. Wefel Center for Employment Law, the Saint Louis University Law Journal, and the Institute for Healing Justice & Equity.

Employment and health inequities are inextricably linked, which has been illustrated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Essential workers, who are predominately racial and ethnic minorities, have disproportionately been infected, hospitalized, and died from Covid-19. Low-wage women workers have lost jobs and health insurance coverage at higher rates than men during the pandemic, while elderly, disabled, and pregnant workers have often been denied accommodations that would protect them from the workplace exposure of Covid-19. Although federal, state, and local government and public health officials have acknowledged that social conditions, such as housing and education, limit an individual’s ability to be healthy, they have failed to make the connection between employment and health inequities. This two-day virtual symposium entitled, Health Inequities and Employment: The Continued Struggle for Justice, will convene workers, scholars, lawyers, and community advocates to not only highlight the connection between employment and health inequities, but also to create a plan for utilizing public health, civil rights, and employment laws to address health inequities. This event is co-sponsored by the Saint Louis University Law Journal, the Wefel Center for Employment Law, and the Institute for Healing Justice and Equity. The proceedings will be published in the Saint Louis University Law Journal.

This symposium will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. CST on March 31 and April 1, 2022 via Zoom. 

6.0 MO CLE credits available

Speaker Information Here.

Register Here.

Thursday, March 31, 2022

9:00 - 9:15 a.m.// Introduction and Welcome
- Ruqaiijah Yearby, Executive Director of the Institute for Healing Justice & Equity and Professor, Saint Louis University School of Law
- William Johnson, Dean and Professor, Saint Louis University School of Law

9:15 - 10:30 a.m. // Panel 1: Intersectionality: Employment Practices and Health Inequities.
The panel will open the symposium and discuss the myriad of ways that employment practices prevent marginalized social groups (racial and ethnic minorities, the disabled, LGBTQIA, women and those with multiple social identities) from equal access to health care and resources to be healthy.
- Rebecca Cokley, Program Officer of Disability Rights, Center for American Progress
- Yvette Cozier, Associate Dean for Diversity, Boston University School of Public Health 
- Jennifer Cohen, Assistant Professor of Global and Intercultural Studies, Miami University 
Ruqaiijah Yearby, Executive Director of the Institute for Healing Justice & Equity and Professor, Saint Louis University School of Law

10:30 - 10:45 a.m. // Break 

10:45 - 12: 00 p.m. // Panel 2: Work Culture & Autonomy
It will explore the effects of discrimination on women’s health and well-being, both in terms of conduct that happens in the workplace, but also in terms of how workplace rules, both formal and informal, have spillover effects on mental and physical health.
- Tristin Green, Professor and Dean’s Circle Scholar at University of San Francisco School of Law 
- Michelle Ceynar, Dean of Social Sciences and Professor of Psychology and Chair of Faculty, Pacific Lutheran University
- Veena Dubal, Professor of Law, UC Hastings Law

12:00 - 1:00 p.m. // Lunch Break

1:00 - 2:15 p.m. // Panel 3: Discrimination, Economics, and Health Outcomes
 It will examine the ways that discrimination and stress impact health outcomes.
- David H. Chae, Human Sciences Associate Professor & Director of the Society, Health and Racial Equity Lab, Auburn University 
- Catherine Harnois, Professor of Sociology, Wake Forest workplace mistreatment and health inequalities
- Jessica Owens-Young, Assistant Professor of Health Studies, American University
- Caryn Bell, Assistant Professor, Tulane University School of Public Health

2:15 - 2:30 p.m. // Break 

2:30 - 3:45 p.m. // Panel 4: Community Advocacy: Beginning to Address Health and Employment Inequities
It will allow you to discuss your community advocacy and how it has addressed employment practices and discrimination that is associated with health inequities.
Sari Bilick, Organizing Project Director at Human Impact Partners (HIP)
- Ciearra Walker, Project Coordinator at STL Community Health Worker Coalition 
- Faybra Hemphill, Forward Through Ferguson
- Maya Hazarika Watts, ChangeLab Solutions

3:45 - 4:00 p.m. // Closing and Healing Practice

Friday, April 1, 2022

9:00 - 9:15 a.m.// Introduction and Welcome
- Ruqaiijah Yearby, Executive Director of the Institute for Healing Justice & Equity and Professor, Saint Louis University School of Law
- William Johnson, Dean and Professor, Saint Louis University School of Law

9:15 - 10:30 a.m. // Panel 1: Connecting Employment Practices and Health Inequities
It will open the second day of the symposium and explore employment inequities and health inequities.
- William M. Rodgers, III Federal Reserve Bank, St. Louis
- Andrea G. Baran, Regional Attorney, EEOC, St. Louis
- Jamillah Williams, Associate Professor of Law, Georgetown Law
- Heather Walter-McCabe, Assistant Professor of Law and Social Work, Wayne State University, Law School

10:30 - 10:45 a.m. // Break

10:45 - 12:00 p.m. // Panel 2: Workers, Employment Practices, and Health Inequities
It will allow workers and organizations to discuss the employment practices that harm them as well as the negative health outcomes.
- Laura Barett, Campaign Coordinator IL/MO/KS SEIU 
- SEIU health care worker
- Kenzia Scales, Director of Policy Research at PHI
- PHI Home health care worker

12:00 - 1:00 p.m. // Lunch Break

1:00 - 2:15 p.m. // Panel 3: Workers, Power, and Health
It explores the employment practices that harm workers, workers lack of power to address the problems, and worker health inequities
- Athena Ramos, Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska 
- Tyra Robinson, Attorney, Public Justice Center
- Peggie Smith, Professor, Washington University in St. Louis School of Law 
- Cesar Rosado Marzan, Professor at University of Iowa 

2:15 - 2:30 p.m. // Break 

2:30 - 3:45 p.m. // Panel 4: Theories & Practices: Beginning to Address Employment and Health Inequities
It explores how the health justice framework and the theory of bounded justice can be used to address employment and health inequities. The panel will also discuss the work advocates are doing and how it has addressed employment practices and discrimination that is associated with health inequities
Theory & Practice: 
- Ruqaiijah Yearby, Executive Director of the Institute for Healing Justice & Equity and Professor, Saint Louis University School of Law
- Melissa Creary, Assistant Professor of Health Management and Policy, University of Michigan School of Public Health
- Cassandra Gomez, Attorney, A Better Balance
 - Pilar Whitaker, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights

3:45 - 4:00 p.m. // Closing and Healing Practice

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