Dear Friends,

I’ve spent so many years in various educational settings that I still think of the Fall as the beginning of the year, a time for fresh starts and renewed hope. This year is unlike any other – no classrooms to enter, no corridor encounters to catch up on the past summer. But in the midst of an unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic that has exposed how decades of exploitation and exclusion have made the world vulnerable, we are working hard. The FXB Center has produced data for peer-reviewed literature, penned articles for the press, convened webinars and more. I am especially proud of the important critique the FXB doctoral candidates provided to data analysis by race/ethnicity suggested by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

We are seeking to ensure policymakers, scholars, students and others are exposed to our perspective that social justice and human rights are central to the pandemic response. While this tragic crisis shows the need to reimagine more equitable societies, there are many looming dangers that rights may be curtailed, leaving marginalized and excluded people still more desperate. Resurrection of ancient beliefs that contagion is contained by blaming. Borders closed. Rise in xenophobia. Violent attacks.

As you’ll see in this newsletter, we recently convened a series of panel discussions with human rights advocates and educators to highlight the need for societal change by centering on voices who are traditionally excluded from halls of power. We invite you to visit our events page and take part in this ongoing dialogue to inspire change and growth within your own circles.

In solidarity,

Dr. Mary T. Bassett 

Director of the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights and FXB Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health 

Elaine Wolfensohn: Forever in Our Hearts
Photo of Mrs Wolfensohn

The FXB Center is sad to announce the passing of Elaine Wolfensohn, who represented her husband Jim Wolfensohn on the FXB advisory committee. For more than 40 years, Mrs. Wolfensohn was involved in education while raising her family. Her work in Australia and the U.S. included teaching in private schools, creating teen tutoring programs in inner-city schools and training adult volunteers to tutor high school students. With the Wolfensohn Development Center at Brookings, she was engaged in work on early childhood development and Middle East youth inclusion.

We thank Mrs. Wolfensohn for her many contributions to the FXB Center and extend our deepest condolences to her loved ones. Read more about her legacy via our FXB Blog.
A Better Future: The Role of Higher Education for Displaced and Marginalized People

Measuring Mobility to Monitor Travel and Physical Distancing Interventions: A Common Framework for Mobile Phone Data Analysis

From General to Specific: Moving Past the General Population in The HIV Response Across Sub-Saharan Africa

US-County Level Variation in Intersecting Individual, Household and Community Characteristics Relevant to COVID-19 and Planning an Equitable Response: A Cross-Sectional Analysis

The Relationship Between Neighborhood Poverty and COVID-19 Mortality Within Racial/Ethnic Groups (Cook County, Illinois)

Regulatory Sandboxes: A Cure for mHealth Pilotitis?

Health and Human Rights Journal: Health Inequities & The Right to Health
Honoring Jonathan Mann
The HHR Journal still reflects the moral stance and activism of its first editor, Jonathan Mann, a founding faculty for both the FXB Center and the Drexel School of Public Health. As a recent panelist for the Jonathan Mann Memorial Lecture Series, Dr. Mary T. Bassett emphasized his work recognizing discrimination as a determinant of health with a larger impact on health outcomes than any virus.

Open Call for Viewpoints
The journal is currently calling for viewpoints on health inequities and the convention on the elimination of racial discrimination. The call is open through the end of 2020. Read more about how to submit viewpoints.  

New Viewpoint Highlight:

The latest call for papers, due Mar. 31, 2021, include:  
Welcoming The New Special Rapporteur
Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng is the first woman appointed to the role of Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health by the United Nations Human Rights Council.

"All of us benefit if we promote and respect all human rights because all of those rights have a direct impact on our health," Dr. Mofokeng told the HHR Journal in a recent interview.

In a virtual roundtable with fellow Special Rapporteurs on the Right to Health hosted by the Journal, Dr. Mofokeng outlined her priorities and hopes in this new role, available for viewing here.
FXB Affiliate Update
Dr. Aisha Yousafzai was honored for her work in early childhood development with this year's Alice Hamilton Award. Aisha is a former FXB affiliate who worked closely with Prof. Jacqueline Bhabha and is presently an associate professor of global health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Apply Now For The Climate & Human Health Fellowship
This two-year experiential fellowship is committed to training the next generation of physician leaders pursuing careers in research, advocacy and policy making to ameliorate the impact of our climate on human health. Fellows have the opportunity to be mentored by faculty across Harvard, including the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics and the Center for the Environment. Training includes a master's degree in public health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Applications accepted until Nov. 30. 2020. For more information, click here.

Photo: Dr. Caleb Dresser (2019-21 Climate and Human Health Fellow) at the 2019 Climate Strike
In Case You Missed It
View our past webinars:

Anti-Romani Racism During the COVID-19 Pandemic (video)

Resurgence of Scapegoating Romani People in Times of Pandemics (video)

COVID-19 and Race: Using Disaggregated Data to Build Equity (video)

Policing and Public Health in the Age of COVID-19 (video)

10 Years On Lessons from Cholera in Haiti (video)
Photo: Anti-Romani Racism During the COVID-19 Pandemic Webinar Panel
Stay in Touch 
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