Media Advisory: WFU and Vanderbilt University to host symposium on Gender, Health, and the South

On April 16 and 17, the Anna Julia Cooper Center at Wake Forest University and the Center for Medicine, Health, and Society at Vanderbilt University will host a public symposium addressing gender, health, and race, with a focus on the U.S. and the South. The symposium will feature keynote addresses by Vanderbilt’s Frederick B. Rentschler II Professor of Sociology and Psychiatry Jonathan Metzl and Wake Forest’s Presidential Endowed Professor Melissa Harris-Perry.

The symposium will bring together activists, scholars, and students to present original research and raise questions at the intersection of gender, race, region, and health. Panel discussions will address the social foundations of health; HIV, sexuality, and health care; pregnancy and reproductive justice; community-based health initiatives; practicing equitable health care; and the impact of gendered attitudes, narratives, and labor conditions on health and health care.

“Gendered, racial, and regional inequalities of health remain among America’s most pressing civil rights concerns,” said Harris-Perry. “This gathering of scholars brings recent research and advocacy on this critical topic to light for our campus and local community.”

Speakers at the symposium include Eugenia Eng, Professor of Health Behavior and Director of the Cancer Health Disparities Postdoctoral Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Gary Gunderson, vice president of Faith and Health Ministries at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center; Charmaine S. Fuller Cooper, former Executive Director of the North Carolina Department of Administration Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation; Giselle Corbie-Smith, Professor of Social Medicine and Medicine at UNC School of Medicine and director of the Program on Health Disparities at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at UNC-Chapel Hill; and Ronny Bell, Professor of Epidemiology and Prevention and Director of the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity at Wake Forest School of Medicine.

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. The symposium begins at 8:45 a.m. onThursday, April 16 and 9 a.m. on Friday, April 17. More information is available on the symposium website.

About Wake Forest University:

Wake Forest University combines the best traditions of a small liberal arts college with the resources of a large research university. Founded in 1834, the school is located in Winston-Salem, N.C. The University’s graduate school of arts and sciences, divinity school, and nationally ranked schools of law, medicine and business enrich our intellectual environment. Learn more about Wake Forest University at


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