Ms. Yakira Teitel, MPH ’15 at the Mailman School of Public Health designed the logo and poster for the National Medical Student Die-in which was held on December 7, 2014 at more than 70 medical schools across the U.S. including Columbia University Medical Center. The die-in was held to raise awareness that racism, and its many manifestations, including police brutality, are public health issues.
Before the event, a call went out for a logo that medical students could use as their Facebook profile image, especially if they were unable to participate in the day of action. Ms. Teitel created this image based off of photos of a die-in that had been held at Harvard Medical School, as well as her own imagination. The image has spread on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and has been featured in a segment about the die-ins on the Rachel Maddow show.
Ms. Teitel is currently in the Accelerated MPH program in the Mailman School’s Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health. After completing her MPH, Ms. Teitel will return to finish her final year of medical school at the University of California San Francisco, where she is in the PRIME Program for the Urban Underserved (PRIME-US). Her research interests include immigrant health, adolescent health and health disparities. Originally from San Francisco, Ms. Teitel has spent the past twelve years combining her interests in art, education and community health in Mexico, Central America, Peru, California and New York. Her background as an educator, artist and activist informs her commitment to addressing community health issues through creative, community-based initiatives.
“I am constantly surprised by where the logo and poster has ended up,” said Ms. Teitel. “It is an honor to see my art serving a cause in which I deeply believe.”