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Renowned physician and activist Dr. Rupa Marya to discuss health and social justice at APSU on Oct. 27

Dr. Rupa Marya

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – At 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 27, the Austin Peay State University College of Behavioral and Health Sciences will welcome renowned physician, activist and writer Dr. Rupa Marya to the Morgan University Center Plaza for a presentation on health and social justice in America. The event, which is free and open to the public, is part of APSU’s new interdisciplinary health and social justice certificate, which the college launched this fall.

Marya is an associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, where she practices and teaches internal medicine. Her work sits at the nexus of climate, health and racial justice.

Marya is a co-founder of the Do No Harm Coalition, a collective of health workers committed to addressing disease through structural change. At the invitation of Lakȟota health leaders, she is helping to set up the Mni Wiconi Health Clinic and Farm at Standing Rock to decolonize medicine and food. Marya is also co-founder and executive director of the Deep Medicine Circle, an organization committed to healing the wounds of colonialism through food, medicine, story and learning.

Earlier this year, she was recognized with the Women Leaders in Medicine Award by the American Medical Student Association, and Marya was a reviewer of the American Medical Association's Organizational Strategic Plan to Embed Racial Justice and Advance Health Equity.

The APSU College of Behavioral and Health Science’s interdisciplinary health and social justice certificate is a collaboration among the departments of sociology, psychological science and counseling, and health and human performance.

“There is good data that illustrates that our health is affected by our race, class and sexual identity (among other things); this course will explore how structural injustices impact our health outcomes,” Dr. Jonniann Butterfield, chair of the Department of Sociology, said last spring. “I think that this certificate is really something interesting that Austin Peay is offering that I don’t know that any other school in Tennessee is doing.”

All students who enroll in the certificate program must take the “anchor” course, “Health and Social Justice.” In this course, students learn about the correlation between health and disease, inequalities in health outcomes and health consequences of chronic stress related to discrimination, oppression and poverty.

To receive the certificate, students must take 12 credit hours, and the program is open to anyone, regardless of their major.

For more information about the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, visit https://www.apsu.edu/programs/undergraduate/interdisciplinary-health-social-justice.php.

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