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The 43rd Annual Minority Health Conference was a success!

Thank you to our attendees, keynotes, breakout session speakers, poster presenters, sponsors, and everyone who helped make the conference possible.

About the theme:

“Where do we go from here?” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. posed this question in his 1967 book of the same title, in which he reflected on the state of America following a decade of struggle for civil rights. He called for a shift in American society towards greater economic justice, without which there could be no true progress towards equality. Over 50 years later, this is once again one of the most critical questions our generation faces. We are in the midst of multiple overlapping crises that impact human health and wellbeing –the COVID-19 pandemic, racial and systemic injustices, and worsening climate change, to name a few. As such, governments, institutions, and communities are facing a crossroads; we can either maintain the status quo, or radically change the way we do things. With the current increased focus on public health and equity, we are in a unique position to uproot and reconstruct our health systems. The conference theme, Revolutionary Healing and Rebuilding, recognizes that the first step in transforming systems and structures is to acknowledge past and present traumas of systemic racism. As we learn from today to transform tomorrow, we must recognize the pressing need to take lessons from our current situation and act now to build a better, more equitable future. This year’s conference seeks to provide a space to acknowledge the wounds of systemic racism, reflect on the structural challenges and barriers to health equity, and advance the work being done to sow seeds that will grow into more equitable systems for tomorrow. We hope that the theme, Revolutionary Healing and Rebuilding, will renew, inspire, and empower us all to reimagine the future of our communities.

Theme Announcement

In light of recent increases in coronavirus infections related to the Omicron variant, we believe that the most prudent course of action that prioritizes the health and safety of our attendees is to host a fully virtual conference.

Please read our full announcement here: Virtual MHC Announcement


Keynote Speakers

Victor J. Schoenbach Keynote Speaker:

Thursday, February 24, 2022

10:30am-12:00pm ET


Jacqueline Patterson, MSW, MPH

Jacqueline Patterson is the Founder and Executive Director of the Chisholm Legacy Project: A Resource Hub for Black Frontline Climate Justice Leadership. Most recently Patterson served as the Senior Director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program for 11 years where she founded and implemented a robust portfolio which included serving the state and local leadership of the Association representing hundreds of communities on the frontlines of environmental injustice. Since 2007 Patterson has served as coordinator & co-founder of Women of Color United. Patterson served as a Senior Women’s Rights Policy Analyst for ActionAid, Assistant Vice-President of HIV/AIDS Programs for IMA World Health, Outreach Project Associate for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Research Coordinator for Johns Hopkins University, and as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Jamaica, West Indies. Patterson holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University. She currently serves on the Advisory Boards for Center for Earth Ethics and the Hive Fund for Gender and Climate Justice, as well as on the Boards of Directors for the Institute of the Black World, Greenpeace, the Bill Anderson Fund, the American Society of Adaptation Professionals, and the National Black Workers Center Project.


William T. Small Jr. Keynote Speaker:

Friday, February 25, 2022

12:00pm-1:30pm ET


Donald Warne, MD, MPH

Dr. Donald Warne (Oglala Lakota) is the Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as well as the Director of the Indians Into Medicine (INMED) and Public Health Programs, and Professor of Family and Community Medicine at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of North Dakota. He also serves as the Senior Policy Advisor to the Great Plains Tribal Leader’s Health Board in Rapid City, SD. Dr. Warne is a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe from Pine Ridge, SD, and comes from a long line of traditional healers and medicine men. He received his MD from Stanford University School of Medicine and his MPH from Harvard School of Public Health. His work experience includes: several years as a primary care physician with the Gila River Health Care Corporation in Arizona; Staff Clinician with the National Institutes of Health; Indian Legal Program Faculty with the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University; Health Policy Research Director for Inter Tribal Council of Arizona; Executive Director of the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board; and Chair of the Department of Public Health at North Dakota State University. Dr. Warne is also a member of the Stanford University Alumni Hall of Fame.



About the Minority Health Conference

The Minority Health Conference is the largest and longest-running student-led health conference in the country. The conference aims to raise awareness around health disparities and mobilize students, academics, and community members to take action for change. Started in 1977 by the Minority Student Caucus, the conference is nationally recognized and respected, attracting more than 500 attendees each year and hundreds more who view it via webcast.

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Organized by the UNC Minority Student Caucus at the Gillings School of Global Public Health.