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Program Overview:

How does the color of your skin affect your health? What about the size of your wallet, your stress level on the job, or the landscape of your neighborhood?

This spring the Russell Library, a political archives at the University of Georgia, invites you to participate in a film and discussion series that explores the ways in which inequity and discrimination shape our health. Joining with partners from the UGA and Athens communities, the Russell Library will host public screenings and discussions of the seven-part documentary, Unnatural Causes, a film that focuses on the social and economic factors that shape diseases and conditions such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and infant mortality and illness. The programs in the series are free and open to everyone.

The series begins on March 22, 2009 at 3:00 p.m. at the Athens Public Library Auditorium with a screening of the documentary’s first episode, “In Sickness and in Wealth." This hour-long segment introduces the connections between health, wealth, and race, by following four individuals from different walks of life in Louisville, Kentucky--to see how their positions in society affect their health. Following the film keynote speaker Dr. Camara Jones, Research Director on Social Determinants of Health and Equity at the Centers for Disease Control, will talk about her role in the creation of the documentary, her ongoing work in the field, and how these critical issues are linked to the residents of northeast Georgia. The program will conclude with a question and answer session with audience members and a light reception of healthy snacks.

Six more screenings and discussion programs will follow on Sunday afternoons from 3-5 p.m. Each event will pair the screening of one episode with a panel of community and campus speakers whose professional interests and activities complement the topics addressed. After the film screening, a skilled moderator will collaborate with panelists to generate questions and dialogue with the audience. The goal is to create a space where the audience can engage these challenging topics in an open forum of deliberation and begin to consider strategies to address these problems in their communities.

Generous support for this program has been provided by the following University of Georgia units: the Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism, Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, The Russell Forum for Civic Life in Georgia, The Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, The College of Public Health, The Biomedical and Health Sciences Institute, The College of Family and Consumer Sciences, The School of Social Work, The Department of Geography, The University of Georgia Alumni Association; Clarke County Health Department, Athens Clarke County Public Library.

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Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies
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