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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

Columbia: Begins Year-long Program To Mark Beginning of Slavery

To mark the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Africans from Angola, in Jamestown, Virginia and the beginning of slavery, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health is embarking on a yearlong journey as a community to better understand the role of slavery in sewing inequality into the fabric of American society, and how threads of this history are woven in and through every aspect of our present. The commemoration will be guided by a committee of faculty, staff, and students, who will make recommendations about the content and format for this year of activities and help plan the components. The committee is chaired by Dr. Robert Fullilove, associate dean for Community and Minority Affairs, and Dr. Raygine DiAquoi, director of the Office of Diversity, Culture and Inclusion.

“The scars we still bear as a country from slavery, an institution that endured for centuries, are evident in countless ways, including the significant health inequalities that persist throughout the United States,” said Dean Linda P. Fried in a letter to the Mailman School community. “As a school of public health deeply dedicated to health and justice for all, this is a poignant moment for us to reflect on this grim anniversary and the continuing legacy of 400 years of embedded inequity.”

The community-wide effort will include guest speakers, readings and discussion groups, activities with the local community, and other special events, including a signature, day-long event on October 14. The Mailman School will examine the past to chart the future, working towards development of solutions, particularly those that impact health.