Hairston College to Host Student Panel on Black Health on Feb. 27

02/27/2023 College of Health and Human Sciences

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Feb. 27, 2023) – The John R. and Kathy R. Hairston College of Health and Human Sciences at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is hosting “Black Health: Using our Past to Inform our Future,” a panel discussion in recognition of Black History Month.

The event – which is open to faculty, staff and students in all disciplines – will take place Monday, Feb. 27, at 4 p.m. in Academic Classroom Building Room 107.

Health equity is a major social justice issue of our time. Underrepresented minority groups bear a disproportionate burden of chronic and infectious disease. Unaddressed health disparities lower the quality of life for patients and their families, and are associated with financial burdens at all levels. Social determinants of health that compound health disparities include housing, transport and access to fresh food. Other contributing factors include access to health care, cultural competency skills among health-care workforce and researchers, and structural racism. African Americans are generally at higher risk for heart diseases, stroke, cancer, asthma, influenza and pneumonia, diabetes and HIV/AIDS, compared with their white counterparts.

The goal of “Black Health: Using our Past to Inform our Future,” is to foster a culture of social advocacy among Hairston College students following the example set by the A&T Four.

The panel discussion will be co-moderated by Kiana Harris, a senior majoring in kinesiology, and David Black, a master’s student in health psychology.

Panelists are Jeanette Wade, Ph.D., an assistant professor of sociology with expertise in medical sociology, race and gender studies; Del L. Ruff, the university’s executive diversity and inclusion officer who has more than 20 years of experience advocating for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in education and the workforce; and Aloysius “Al” Jones, a part-time psychology instructor whose interests focus on the impacts of racism and religion on African Americans’ educational experiences and the systems that undergird those structured and unstructured experiences. Marvin Fields, a part-time psychology instructor, will also contribute to the discussion.

The Hairston College offers six undergraduate degree programs: health services management, kinesiology, nursing, psychology, speech studies, social work and sociology. It also offers a master’s degree in health psychology, a master’s degree in social work, and a Ph.D. in social work, with a physician assistant studies master’s degree program soon to be established. The graduate degrees in social work are jointly administered with UNC-Greensboro. 

The Hairston College is also home to the new Center of Excellence in Integrative Health Disparities and Equity Research (CIHDER).

Priority goals for the Hairston College include promoting health equity and eliminating health disparities by educating a diverse health care workforce, community engagement and research.

All News