The Health Sciences Service Learning and Advocacy Group has selected this year’s Health Sciences Common Book: The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander.
Students, staff, and faculty in the Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health and Social Work are asked to read this book over the summer and come prepared to participate in the 2015-2016 Health Sciences Common Book Series. The Common Book Series will include workshops and lectures that invite Health Sciences community members to dialogue about the book and the issues it raises and to build skills to address the challenges and opportunities that exist when managing the health of individuals and populations. The Common Book Series provides a shared framework for inter-professional dialogue with the goal of creating collaborative health professionals. The New Jim Crow will spark thoughtful discussion across the departments and programs of the UW Health Sciences, bringing to light a range of issues touching health disparities, mass incarceration and racial oppression.
In the wake of the Charleston massacre, the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, and the ongoing state-sanctioned violence against black people in the United States, it is imperative that future health professionals understand how this country’s legacy of racial violence and white supremacy contributes to and produces the racialized health disparities that can be observed in and beyond clinical and social work settings. By using The New Jim Crow as a jumping off point, the Health Sciences Common Book Series will prime students from across the health professions to understand and act to undo the institutional racism that is woven into the fabric of the U.S. criminal justice system, the educational system, the health care system, and more.