MLK Week 2022

UVA Health is celebrating the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with a week of events. “Of all forms of discrimination and inequalities, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhuman.”  — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

UVA Health seeks to acknowledge our history concerning health injustices and create an authentic path that empowers our entire community to flourish together and move forward in our mission to advance humanity and dignity in community and health equity, education, patient care, and research. 

Event Schedule: January 17-21, 2022


Monday, Jan. 17 


11 a.m. Flourishing Together: Restoring The Humanity,  Dignity, and Well-Being of Our Beloved Community

  • Virtual opening session
  • Guest speaker: Rev. Dr. Emory Berry Jr., pastor of Greenforest Community Baptist Church in Decatur, Georgia

Register to attend


Tuesday, Jan. 18


11 a.m. A Courageous Conversation: #HowWeHeal

Register to attend


2 p.m. A Way Forward: Transforming Historical Harms

  • Virtual panel discussion
  • Guest speakers: Thomas DeWolf and Jodie Geddes, co-managers of Coming to the Table and co-authors of The Little Book of Racial Healing: Coming to the Table for Truth Telling, Liberation, and Transformation. 

Register to attend


7:30 p.m. Social-Activist Singer-Songwriter Crys Matthews in Concert

  • Sponsored by Coming to the Table, RVA
  • Virtual concert

Register to attend


Wednesday, Jan. 19 & Thursday, Jan. 20


10 a.m. Righting the Wrongs: Tackling Health Inequities Health Equity Summit

  • Virtual summit

The AAMC Center for Health Justice and the Hastings Center will co-convene a virtual summit on health equity. Speakers will explore examples of promising strategies that healthcare leaders and practicing clinicians can employ to address inequities through policy, clinical care, medical education, research, and community collaborations.

  • Isabel Wilkerson is the Pulitzer Prize-winner author of the best-selling book Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents.
  • Daniel Dawes is a leader in the movement to advance health equity and a key figure in shaping the Mental Health Parity Act and the Affordable Care Act.
  • Richard Rothstein is the author of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
  • David Williams is an internationally recognized social scientist whose TED Talk, “How Racism Makes Us Sick,” has been viewed over 1 million times.

Register to attend


Friday, Jan. 21


1 p.m. The History of Race at the UVA Medical Center (1901-2000) 

  • In-person tour

The Curator of Historical Collections at the Health Sciences Library, Dan Cavanaugh, will lead a 1-hour tour of the Medical Center’s West Complex, where he will present significant developments in the history of race at the UVA Medical Center between 1901 and 2000. 

Dan Cavanaugh will briefly touch upon the following historical developments in the spaces where they occurred: patient segregation, discriminatory health care, labor discrimination, race science research, civil rights activism, IDEA initiatives, and urban renewal projects. 

Register to attend


2:15 p.m. Cultivating a Trauma-Informed Response

  • In-person discussion in the Historical Collections Reading Room

Register to attend


Preparing for Health Equity Conversations: Resources

These resources introduce terms and concepts that can serve as a framework and context to ground our conversations.

Reflection questions:

  1. Why is it important to acknowledge the past and present injustices in our healthcare?
  2. What educational tools can we use to empower our mission for community and health equity, education, patient care, and research?
  3. When do we envision taking intentional action to inspire a sense of belonging and inclusivity?
  4. How do we build the Beloved Community at UVA Health?

Working Definitions

Health Inequities

Avoidable differences in health between different groups of people. These widespread differences are the result of unfair systems that negatively affect people’s living conditions, access to healthcare, and overall health status. Health inequity affects people from disadvantaged or historically oppressed groups most severely.

Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) 

The conditions in the environments where people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.

The 5 key areas of SDOH:

  1. Economic stability
  2. Education access and quality
  3. Healthcare access and quality
  4. Neighborhood and built environment 
  5. Social and community context

Read more about:

Health Equity Resources

Resources from the Health Sciences Library: