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September 2022

Dear Community,

A season of change is upon us—it is officially Fall and the University of Pittsburgh campus is bustling with energy! New students mix with returning students in a milieu of faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds and cultures. An advantage of being on a college campus is the opportunity to attend a plethora of programs and events from another cultural perspective. We encourage you to take some time and enrich your learning experience by celebrating Latinx & Hispanic Heritage Month with us from September 15 to October 15.

The CHE will host a Journal Club discussion on October 7 about the trauma experienced by migrant families, and on October 14, the Emerging Latino Communities Group will explore strategies to foster child learning. The Latinx Connect Conference in late October will bring together students, educators, and community leaders to dialogue about Latinx identities and contemporary and historical issues faced by the Latinx community. Additional details on all these programs can be found in this newsletter.

There are many ways in which to culturally engage this semester. One way to live out diversity, equity, and inclusion is to immerse yourself in the diversity of experiences around you. By doing so, you’ll embark on a path to becoming an empathetic global citizen.

Welcome back to campus!


Faculty and Staff at the Center for Health Equity, University of Pittsburgh

In the September newsletter:
See What's Coming Up!
Just a Reminder! Join in on our Monthly Events
Update on our Pitt Public Health Community!
News from Strategic Partners

To learn more about the CHE, please visit our website.

Happy Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month!
Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month is dedicated to recognizing the incredible impact that Hispanic and Latinx people have had on the development of our country!
Visit our website here to see scheduled events!
See What's Coming Up! 
Join In! See what's new with these Student Organizations

FORWARDS strives to encourage the development of academic, professional, and social ambitions of minoritized populations of the SPH student body.
Executive Board:
President: Maya Thakar
VP: Sade Tukuru
Secretary: Amrit Singh
Business Manager: Ruel Beresford
Programming Chair: Fatimah Dixon
Staff Advisor: Lora Ann Bray
Sign Up!
For more information please contact their email: 
Introducing BPHA
The Black Public Health Association aspires to serve as a liaison between African American graduate and undergraduate students interested in Public Health.
They aim to stimulate mentorship, growth, and connectivity within the University of Pittsburgh's School of Public Health.
Please join them for their presentation at the "Race & .... Conference" on September 30th from 9:00 am - 3:30 pm.
For more information please contact President Ruel Beresford at 
A Call to Action!
 The Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority is negotiating new plans for the area. Now is the time to repair the harm done to Black residents and members of Big Bethel by returning the land that was unlawfully taken. By signing this petition, you’re doing the following:
• Tell Kevin Acklin, President of Business Operations, Pittsburgh Penguins, and The Sports & Exhibition Authority Pittsburgh to return the stolen land and development rights to Big Bethel.
• Calculate the lost revenue to the church and dollars made on the land.
• The URA, Pittsburgh Penguins, The Sports & Exhibition Authority, and Pittsburgh City Council must agree to return the land and development rights to Big Bethel.

We have church members alive today who actually experienced this injustice. It’s time to acknowledge this terrible history and, with brave leadership, pave a new way forward together!
Use the link below to learn more and sign the petition!
Don't Miss It! Check out these Upcoming Events
The Center for Health Equity (CHE) is partnering with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank (GPCFB) to recruit 10-15 volunteers every month for the New Oakland Food Distribution site to address food insecurity—a Social Determinant of Health (SDOH). 

*Age Requirements: Must be 12 years old to participate. All minors must be accompanied by an adult.

* Sign-Up: our system is set up in a way that requires folks to sign up every time they would like to volunteer.

*Attire Requirements: Closed-toe shoes are required. Masks are strongly encouraged. Distributions are rain or shine. Please dress for the weather. 

Sign Up for 10/05/22!
Sign Up for 11/02/22!
The Latinx Connect conference (October 27-29) aims to move us beyond “celebrating” Latinxs, instead calling for empowerment and justice for the Latinx community, which faces numerous disparities in U.S. society.
Register Here!
Recap! What you Missed this Month 
Emerging Latino Communities Group
Pitt Park(ing) Day
Pitt Park(ing) Day is an annual one-day event that takes urban parking spots and turns them into pop-up “installations” for a day, raising awareness about the importance of a livable city and helping us to re-think how our streets can be utilized. At Pitt, this celebration is facilitated by the Center for Creativity
This year’s Pitt Park(ing) Day event on September 16, was a collaborative effort of the CHE, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Public Health Training Center (MAR-PHTC), and Pitt students who are also Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). CHE and MAR-PHTC resources and giveaways were available at the table and persons stopping by could receive instruction in the life-saving techniques of hands-only CPR and stop-the-bleed. 

Special thanks to table hosts Lora Ann Bray (CHE), Kimberly Francis (MAR-PHTC), and EMTs Megan Stafford, Serena Sharma, and Jonathan Xiong.

43rd Annual Pow Wow
CHE staff and family members attended the 43rd Annual Pow Wow sponsored by the Council of Three Rivers American Indian Center located in Dorseyville, PA, on September 24-25. They enjoyed watching the intricate regalia displayed during the dance competitions, purchased crafts, and ate delicious Fry Bread but, there was a greater takeaway message shared by the event organizer, Michael Simms.
Support from other cultures is welcome and needed in protecting Native American land rights, combating the disproportionate rates of assault and murder perpetrated on Native American women, and in the identification and reunification of the sacred remains of Native American children who died at Indian Boarding Schools (aka, “assimilation schools”) in the United States and Canada. Additional information about the violence experienced by Native American women can be found at and
Black Faces In High Places
Dr. Robinson shared, not only, his knowledge and experiences as a black man in a high position, but his dreams to see more black people in higher positions. His book "Black Faces in High Places" is a guideline for black professionals on how to maneuver through the corporate world and realize their passion. Dr. Robinson emphasizes the importance of reaching your goals, staying there, and helping your community advance.
Academic Opportunities! 
Scholarship Awards
For more information contact Lora Ann Bray,
For more information contact Lora Ann Bray,
Training Opportunity!
Data Literacy for Data Stewards
A series of workshops that emphasize the importance of thinking critically about creating, applying, and managing data and technology in our society. Especially to identify how data and technology are used to reinforce systems of oppression. 
Learn More!
Just a Reminder! Join our Monthly Events
"The Monthly Read" with the Journal Club!
Access the Article: "Recognizing trauma experienced by migrant parents and children- Identifying Behavioral Health resources to support migrant families"
The Emerging Latino Communities Group
Join Zoom Meeting:
Article: "How getting kids to make grocery lists and set the table can improve their vocabulary and willingness to learn"
Update on our Pitt Public Health Community!
Good Luck To Dr. Andre Brown!
Dr. Andre Brown
Assistant Professor, Behavioral and Community Health Sciences

Dr. Brown has studied the effect of social and cultural factors on the mental health and sexual behaviors of Black men at Pitt for many years. He will be joining the staff of the Cuyahoga County Board of Health near Cleveland, Ohio
Congratulations Dr. Dara Mendez!

Dr. Dara Mendez
Received tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in Epidemiology effective July 2022. We celebrated with her during a backyard gathering. 

Dr. Dara Mendez and Co-PI Dr. Marian Jarlenski were recently awarded a grant (R01) from the National Institutes of Health, NINR, for the study titled “The effects of Medicaid Policy Interventions on Racial Equity in Severe Maternal Morbidity.” The study will evaluate 3 Medicaid policies in the state of Pennsylvania: 2 focused on improving maternal and infant health outcomes for Black populations and 1 focused on doula coverage.

News from Strategic Partners 
To partners of the CHE -- please send us any news updates at any point that you think would be relevant to the students, staff, faculty, and community members that receive this newsletter.
Center for Human Environmental and Equity Research (CHEER)
The CHE is partnering with the Center for Human Environmental and Equity Research (CHEER) to help develop a multidisciplinary network of community stakeholders and practitioners interested in addressing environmental health disparities. CHEER launched the initiative at a retreat on September 7, 2022, at which Donna Alexander (Community Research Advisory Board Member) and Lora Ann Bray (CHE Manager) facilitated a breakout workshop on community engagement and community-based participatory research (CBPR). For more information about CHEER, contact Dr. Aaron Barchowsky Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Pitt School of Public Health at

Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank (GPCFB)
The Center for Health Equity (CHE) is partnering with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank (GPCFB) to recruit volunteers for the New Oakland Food Distribution site to address food insecurity—a Social Determinant of Health (SDOH). The GPCFB's mission is to feed those in need, while also encouraging the community to fight against hunger. Read more
Welcome Back!

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