Fitness factors

Marquette with Milwaukee

Fitness factors

Marquette Forum explores trajectories of multiple health inequities in this community and beyond.

This year’s Marquette Forum, “Fractured: Health and Equity,” is exploring challenges to health equity — locally, regionally and globally. In addition to key focuses on some of Milwaukee’s public health issues, including infant mortality, toxic stress and incarceration, forum events are also connecting with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services “Healthiest Wisconsin 2020” plan and national and international efforts by the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization and others.

The yearlong forum began during the fall semester by engaging students, faculty, staff, regional and national experts, and the communities making up greater Milwaukee in frank talk about health disparities, social determinants of health and opportunities for achieving greater health equity.

Key topics included:
• Children’s health — social determinants
of health
• Mental health — enduring stigmas and challenges
• Global health — developing Marquette networks
• Incarceration and health
• Milwaukee — accessing health care

The conversations are continuing this spring and will culminate with a keynote address by sociologist and public health expert Dr. David R. Williams from Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He is an internationally recognized authority on social influences on health, and served as key scientific adviser to the award-winning PBS film series Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? His 2016 TED Talk, “How Racism Makes Us Sick,” has been viewed nearly a million times.

In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the fair housing marches on Milwaukee, Williams will explore housing as a public health issue when he speaks on campus on March 27, 2018. The event is open to the public.

Learning throughout the year broadened perspectives. Here are some highlights of what occurred:

Dr. Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart, director of Native-American and disparities research in the University of New Mexico School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry, presented “Historical Trauma and Unresolved Grief Among Native Peoples of North America.”
Marquette, Harley-Davidson and Neighborhood House hosted the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s On the Table forum, bringing together more than 100 participants to discuss what can be done to improve the quality of life in Milwaukee.

A workshop at the Medical College of Wisconsin called “A Transformation of Global Health Knowledge Toward Community Disparities in Southeast Wisconsin” invited participants to share how to channel energy and enthusiasm gained from global service experiences back to Milwaukee.

The Marquette University Student Government distributed purple ribbons to mark Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Day.

The Center for Gender and Sexuality Studies sponsored the “Men’s Health Across Difference Research Panel” with public health, medical and social justice experts discussing health disparities across gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socio-
economic background and ability.

Marquette Law School’s Lubar Center hosted a conference where 2016–17 O’Brien Fellow Mark Johnson, graduate and undergraduate students examined the growing threat posed by diseases that jump from animals to humans.

History assistant professor Dr. Bryan Rindfleisch presented a talk on the historical features of Native-American society and its oppression by colonialist forces that account for high rates of violence against women.

The university hosted the Milwaukee Film Festival showing of Bending the Arc, which followed the founding of Partners in Health. The university also hosted a panel of medical providers, community stakeholders and journalists who addressed Milwaukee’s epidemic of trauma, discussing everything from individual therapies to efforts to strengthen the broader community.

This year’s Marquette Forum continues to seat friends, colleagues and groups around the table for critical and difficult conversations.

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