February 27, 2012

Five-day Conference on Health in the African Diaspora set for summer

The Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has opened registration for the International Conference on Health in the African Diaspora, which will be held July 4 to 8 at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel.

The theme of ICHAD 2012 is The Great Scattering: Connecting the Dots Between Slavery and Contemporary Health in the African Diaspora.

Approximately 160 million black descendants of the trans-Atlantic slave trade now live throughout the Western Hemisphere, and the conference will explore how this population is faring. From Canada to Argentina, blacks share a common history of slavery, marginalization and resilience, but this group has evolved through divergent social and cultural experiences, with research showing striking commonalities and differences in their health and well-being.

In addition, a stark health divide exists between slave descendants and other groups. For example, compared to the infant mortality experience of general populations in the Western Hemisphere, black infants throughout the region are at least twice as likely to die before their first birthday.

Researchers, policymakers, health advocates and other change agents from across the hemisphere will gather to explore the health status of these descendants of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and to identify multilevel actions, including international partnerships, for improving the health of this population.

Presenters—whose academic disciplines include public health, sociology, medicine, economics, history, anthropology, nursing and psychology—will focus on more than a dozen countries, including Brazil, the United States, Colombia, Cuba, Jamaica, Canada, Honduras and the Dominican Republic.

The conference is funded by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. To register or obtain more information, go to www.ICHAD.com, where information is available in English, Spanish and Portuguese.