LifestyleBlack History Month


UNLV virtual discussion series to tackle health disparities, racism

Posted at 1:06 PM, Feb 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-03 11:34:06-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The panel series, “We Need To Talk: Conversations on Racism for a More Resilient Las Vegas,” will return with new episodes starting Feb. 4 in conjunction with Black History Month.

The series is sponsored by the UNLV Libraries and the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs.

The goal of the educational series is to examine how multiple aspects of systemic racism impact our community and propose steps communities and individuals can take to affect positive change. The series features Southern Nevada community members, UNLV alumni, and researchers surrounding issues of race and systemic racism.

“We Need to Talk About Healthcare,” will be livestreamed on Feb. 4 at 5:30 p.m. The Feb. 4 panel includes UNLV President Keith Whitfield, who is a scholar in the fields of psychology, health, and aging. The episode will feature conversations on disparities in access and delivery of health care for people of color.

Additional guests for the conversation include Jose Melendrez, executive director of community partnerships in the UNLV School of Public Health; and Melva Thompson-Robinson, director of the UNLV Center for Health Disparities Research.

Each panel discussion will be moderated by Claytee White, Director of the Oral History Research Project at University Libraries.

Additional panels will be held on the following dates:

- Feb. 11: The conversation Feb. 11 will cover topics ranging from the inequality of educational opportunities for communities of color to concepts like the school-to-prison pipeline. Scheduled guests include Laurents Bañuelos-Benitez, teacher at Mojave High School; Kenneth Brown, English teacher at Sierra Vista High School and a 2020 Clark County School District New Educator of the Year; Iesha Jackson, assistant professor of teaching and learning in the UNLV College of Education; and Kenneth J. Varner, associate professor of literacy education in the UNLV College of Education.

- Feb. 18: This episode will consider ways to use the information covered in previous topics to pursue meaningful societal change through equity and equality. Guests for the panel include Harriet Barlow, executive director of The Intersection at UNLV; Sondra Cosgrove, professor of history at College of Southern Nevada; Jayce Farmer, assistant professor of public policy and leadership in the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs; and Minister Stretch Sanders, a Southern Nevada community activist.

- Feb. 25: The final episode in the series will focus on Las Vegas’ Westside neighborhood. The conversation will examine how the Westside has struggled with the blight of segregation and systemic racism over the years, but is now undergoing a number of positive changes such as the development of Legacy Park along with the potential of government and private funding to change its landscape forever. Panelists include Chase McCurdy, artist; and Erika Vital-Lazare, professor of creative writing and marginalized voices in dystopian literature at the College of Southern Nevada

All new episodes of “We Need To Talk” can be livestreamed here.