The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday June 4th

Minority Health Conference still holds keynote, cancels other talks due snow

When roads turned icy and traveling became dangerous on Friday, most scheduled events, from classes to meetings, were cancelled. But the Minority Health Conference came up with a quick alternative.

Despite the weather-related travel restrictions, the 36th annual Minority Health Conference — which was cancelled Friday due to weather conditions — hosted an online webcast of the keynote speech and plans to reschedule many of the planned talks. 

The annual conference aims to draw attention to the health issues of minority populations. 

The keynote lecturer was William Darity Jr., a professor of public policy, African and African American studies and economics at Duke University. In the webcast, he discussed the social and structural factors that affect the inequalities in education, employment and health. 

Other speaking events and breakout sessions were cancelled due to the snow. The co-chairwomen plan to hold make-up session, but have not settled on an official make-up date yet. 

The conference is the largest and longest running student-led conference in the nation. This year the planning committee consisted of more than 60 people. 

Deshira Wallace, the planning coordinator, said planning began last summer.

The conference has a different theme every year. This year, the theme was "Reaching for the American Dream: Economic Mobility and Minority Health."

Elena Rivera said she and May Chen, the co-chairwomen, chose this theme because it is both current and relevant.

“There’s a lot of public discourse out now around economic inequality,” she said. 

Rivera also said the conference's theme has a personal meaning for her. Her grandparents immigrated to the United States with a belief in the American Dream. 

“May and I talked a lot about minority populations and how economic mobility affects the health of minority populations,” Rivera said. 

“It’s really complex. But thinking about it, on one hand, from the personal history perspective, knowing what my family has experienced. And also taking it a step further and thinking more critically about what does that mean for all Americans or all minority populations in the U.S. and their experiences.” 

Chen said the conference serves an important role in society.

“It serves as a way for people to get together and to mobilize to reduce the health disparities,” Chen said when talking about the meaning of the conference. “We’re still working on the logistics, but we’re interested in rescheduling as many of the sessions as possible."

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.


The Daily Tar Heel Women's Tennis Victory Paper

Special Print Edition

Games & Horoscopes

Print Edition Games Archive