Deans Lecture Series - Structural Racism
Published on: Sep 17, 2020

The Penn State College of Health and Human Development's fall 2020 Dean's Lecture Series will focus on the impact of structural racism on human health, development and well-being.

The first lecture in this iteration of the Dean’s Lecture Series, "The Impact of Structural Racism and Racial Discrimination on Health, Wellness and Well-Being," will feature a special online screening of the documentary film “The Skin You’re In” at 4 p.m. Sept. 24 via Zoom.

The screening will be followed by a question-and-answer session with the film's producer, Thomas A. LaVeist, dean and Weatherhead Presidential Chair in Health Equity at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

"The Skin You're In" explores why more African Americans suffer from illness and die younger than any other ethnic group in the nation. The documentary investigates this disturbing phenomenon from various angles: identifying the problem, explaining the causes and offering real solutions. It shares insights from leading health experts and researchers who explain what can be done to address racial inequalities in health outcomes. The film demonstrates the health problems faced firsthand by African American families every day and features extraordinary individuals from across the nation who are taking positive action to heal their lives, families and communities.

LaVeist’s research focuses on health equity. He has led major studies of cultural competency in health care, social determinants of health and health policy analysis. He has written more than 150 scientific articles and six books, and he is frequently quoted as an expert by media outlets.

His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Defense, Commonwealth Fund, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Sage Foundation, and the Agency for Healthcare Research.

LaVeist has received the “Innovation Award” from the National Institutes of Health, the “Knowledge Award” from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and was elected to the National Academy of Medicine.

The Q&A session will be moderated by Craig J. Newschaffer, Raymond E. and Erin Stuart Schultz Dean of the College of Health and Human Development, host of the series.

Participants are invited to join the live events and encouraged to participate in the question-and-answer sessions. All lectures will be recorded and available for viewing at a later date.

Launched in spring 2020, the Dean’s Lecture Series features nationally recognized researchers who share their work and commentary on important issues of the day to catalyze conversation, new thinking and advancement of scholarship.

Additional information, future lectures and recordings of previous lectures can be found at