In the months since Sujal Parikh’s untimely passing, I’ve thought of him often. In the past few months, I have been struck by how many people have mentioned that they were inspired by how he bridged his intellectual inquiry with his commitment to social justice. In the words of Susannah Sirkin, PHR’s Deputy Director:
Sujal’s range of interests and commitments to the health and human rights agenda was vast…. His grasp of the connections between disease and human rights, and his engagement with the strengthening of a true advocacy movement for health and rights was always so serious, but also so much fun. His wit and intensity and humility will inspire me as we mourn his loss.
In an effort to respond to students who want to honor him, remember him, and inspire others to follow in his footsteps, I would like to invite you to contribute to two annual academic events that celebrate this link between research and action for social justice.
One is the Sujal Parikh Memorial Education Expo at the PHR National Student Conference this February 12 in Boston. As a member of the PHR National Student Program’s Student Advisory Board, Sujal Parikh presented at previous Conferences, and the Student Advisory Board has chosen to name the Educational Expo after Sujal. There is still time to submit your proposal and register for the Conference. It promises to be an excellent opportunity to share ideas, resources, lessons learned, and inspiration.
The other event has been established in Sujal’s honor by a diverse group of people who studied and worked with him throughout his medical training. The first annual Sujal Parikh Memorial Symposium on Health and Social Justice will take place March 26, 2011 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Those who cared for and admired Sujal – and it’s becoming clear to me that this includes almost everyone who came in contact with him – are invited to contribute, as are those who share his passion for health and social justice.
Dear Friends, Family, Colleagues and Admirers of our friend, Sujal Parikh,
We are pleased to announce the inaugural Sujal Parikh Memorial Symposium on Health and Social Justice. The goal of this event is to honor the life of Sujal Parikh and to carry on his vision by bringing together a community to advance health and social justice. This year’s theme is: The Social (Justice) Network. See the below call for proposals for further details on presentations and content.
March 26th, 2011
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Register here. The deadline for registration, which is free, is March 12, 2009.
For interested presenters: We are currently soliciting presenters to discuss innovative ideas pertaining to one of the following themes that were important to Sujal:
1) Curricula as an agent of social change: Education shapes future leaders’ views, values, and goals. In this way, curriculum can be a powerful tool for driving social change. Do you have an example of an innovative and effective curriculum related to health or social justice?
2) Defining health equity: A rigorous, vetted definition of this buzzword is critical for the next generation of leaders to advance meaningful change in global health. How do we, as the millennial generation, define “health equity”? How can this definition guide practices and programs?
3) Innovations in global engagement: Global engagement is rife with controversy and ethical concerns, but these tensions can be negotiated with meaningful results. Are you pioneering a progressive global partnership? How can students and social justice advocates be sensitive to a community’s unique social context?
We hope to have a wide variety of speakers, from experts in their fields to students to community workers. Everyone is welcome to submit proposals!
- Presentations should be no longer than 20 min. Please see TED Talks for the style of talks we are envisioning.
- The deadline for presentation proposal submission is February 18th, 2011.
- If you are unsure you can attend the symposium, please let us know if you would be interested in submitting a remote presentation! The logistics for this are currently being arranged.
For details and the online application, please visit the website.
We look forward to seeing you soon and sharing ideas about advancing health and social justice on March 26th!
Jennifer Bass, Coordinator
Alexandra Coria, Recruitment Co-chair
Katie Ratzan Peeler, Recruitment Co-chair