2021 Connection Session – Racial Equity in Adolescent Health Care: Developing an Anti-Racist Practice

Accessing the event

  • You can access the event by following this link and entering the password 759877.
  • Add the event with the Zoom information to your calendar by following this link.
  • When using Zoom, you can make your pronouns visible by following these directions.
  • For support during or after the event, please contact adolescenthealth@umich.edu
  • Linked here you will find a collaborative workbook for Connection Session attendees to share resources and literature on addressing oppression, bias, and anti-racism in health care spaces. We invite you to utilize this resource and add to it.

The event will be recorded and shared with attendees after the session. Breakout sessions will not be recorded, and the chat transcription will not be saved. If you do not feel comfortable with your Zoom screen being recorded, please send us an email and we will do our best to edit it out of the recording before sharing.

What to expect

  • Content Warning: There will be direct acknowledgment and conversations about race, racism, racial justice, and the impacts of racism on adolescent health. This content may be triggering for folks that have experienced racial trauma. Please do what you need to care for yourself as we navigate these conversations.
  • Sustainability Statement: By hosting the 2021 Connection Session virtually, the Adolescent Health Initiative is reminded of the impact that in-person events can have on the environment. A virtual setting results in less carbon emissions from travel, no physical space is required to prepare, as heating and cooling are carbon-intensive, no extra lighting or technology is required, there is less food waste, and overall, less disposal of materials and general waste. While AHI and all attendees are still producing carbon emissions by using our equipment and technology to host and attend this event, emissions are significantly less than if we were all in person. We want to acknowledge that we all have work to do in challenging the ways we think about energy use and its impact on the environment. Check out the suggestions below to think about ways to reduce consumption while attending this event:
    • Turning your camera off during less interactive presentations or breaks can save up to 96% of your carbon footprint at this event.
    • Switch your screen resolution to standard definition from high definition, to use less energy.

Continuing Education Unit (CEU) Information

  • This event has been approved for up to 4 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ on behalf of MiCME, 3 Social Work Continuing Education Credits, and 3.25 Nursing Credit Hours.
  • This event must be attended on November 17 to count toward CEUs. To receive credits, you will need to complete the evaluation that will be sent out on November 18.


*All times are in EST

Time Sessions
12:00-12:45 PM
  • Territorial remarks by Lauren White, MPH, MSW, Citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
  • Framing Session by Jannah Bierens, MPH, MA
  • Opening remarks by Lauren Vasquez, MS, CHES
12:50 – 1:50 PM
  • Background Session on Structural Racism and Adolescent Health by J’Mag Karbeah, MPH, Ph.D. Candidate
    • This presentation will explore the importance of understanding and naming the impact that structural racism has on adolescent health outcomes.
2:10-3:10 PM
  • Panel discussion on the Impacts of Racism on Adolescent Health with Teresa Springer, MA, Dr. Veenod Chulani, Saida Abshir, Jessica Taylor, and Ashanti Campbell
    • This presentation will center on the health impacts of racial inequities in adolescent health care for youth with intersecting marginalized identities
3:15 – 4:15 PM
  • Strategy Session on CARE NOT PUNISHMENT: Rejecting carceral logics as part of anti-racist practice, by Maria Thomas, MA, MPA
    • This presentation will offer an analysis of how medical and healthcare spaces often perpetuate racism by gatekeeping and exclusion, punitive approaches, and the active criminalization of marginalized populations. It will then invite participants to disrupt this dynamic by outlining suggestions for active and intentional anti-racist practices.
4:15 – 4:30 PM
  • Closing remarks

About the speakers

Presentation Slides

Lauren White, MPH, MSW, Citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

Lauren White, MPH, MSW, is a Citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, and a Joint Ph.D. Student in Social Work and Psychology at the University of Michigan.

Lauren’s research focus is strengths-based approaches and centering community self-determination throughout the implementation of interventions to prevent suicide and promote mental wellness. Her current work involves suicide prevention in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

Jannah Bierens, MPH, MA

Jannah Bierens is a Black biracial North Carolina native who uses feminine and gender non-conforming pronouns. As a Racial and Health Equity Consultant, she consults and facilitates dialogue around root causes of oppression, intersectionality, and power imbalance for narrative shifting and systems change toward advancing racial and health equity. Along with their M.P.H from Benedictine University, she has graduate certificates in Health Management & Policy and Health Education & Promotion, in addition to her M.A. in Social Justice & Community Organizing from Prescott College.

Ms. Bierens has spent most of their 20-year career in Durham, NC, at the local government public health level, driven by a deep passion for eliminating historically rooted Black health disparities. As a Health Education Specialist, she educated, advocated, and organized around opportunities and access to optimal health in community with residents who have been traditionally marginalized, by design. They hold a strong belief that collective justice and healing are critical to centering shared humanity, realizing our bound liberation, and improvement in health outcomes for all. Currently residing in Lansing, Michigan, when they’re not working, Ms. Bierens finds joy in music, reading, writing, and all things creative.

J'Mag Karbeah, MPH, Ph.D. Candidate

J’Mag Karbeah is a Ph.D. candidate in the University of Minnesota’ School of Public Health’s Division of Health Policy Management studying Health Services Research, Policy and Administration.

Her focus is on the sociology of illness. J’Mag received her MPH (2017) from the University of Minnesota with an emphasis on Maternal and Child Health. Her research marries her HSR and demography training to analyze the impact of structural racism on maternal and child health inequities. Her scholarship has done this by:

  1. Examining alternative perinatal care models to address inequities in access and quality that Black birthing people face.
  2. Acknowledging and challenging how anti-Black racism is perpetuated through public health and medical institutions. In her dissertation work, she hopes to examine police contact as a form of structural racism impacting adolescent health outcomes.
Teresa Springer, MA, Dr. Veenod Chulani, & Youth Panelists

Teresa Springer is the Director of Programs at Wellness AIDS Services in downtown Flint, Michigan.

Teresa of house Springer First of her name
Writer of Grants
Manager of Programs
Shaker of Systems
Rejecter of Racist/Homophobic/Transphobic Regimes
Denouncer of Discrimination
Professional Side Eyer of Shady People
Lover of Equitable Solutions


Dr. Chulani is a queer, multicultural, immigrant clinician, author, educator, and advocate. He serves as Section Chief of Adolescent Medicine at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Medical Director of Phoenix Children’s Gender Support Services. He is also an Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Department of Child Health, University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix. He completed his pediatric residency training at Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York; his fellowship in Adolescent Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles; and his Master’s in Education from the University of Southern California-Keck School of Medicine.

His primary areas of interest include adolescent sexual and reproductive health, the care of gay, lesbian, bisexual transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth, health equity promotion, and diversity and inclusion. He is a member of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine’s Diversity Committee and served as co-author for the organization’s positions, Promoting Equity and Reducing Health Disparities Among Racially/Ethnically Diverse Adolescents (2013) and Racism and Its Harmful Effects on Nondominant Racial-Ethnic Youth and Youth-Serving Providers: A Call to Action for Organizational Change (2018). He has delivered lectures and workshops nationally and internationally and is the recipient of numerous awards recognizing his contribution to adolescent health. He has led and participated in numerous local, state, and national curriculum development, program development, and quality improvement initiatives to promote adolescent-centered care.


Saida Abshir is a sophomore at the University of Michigan majoring in Biology, Health, and Society and AfroAmerican and African Studies. They plan to pursue a career in medicine and are currently interested in reproductive and maternal healthcare.

Saida is passionate about solving racial and ethnic disparities within health and medicine. TAC TAC provided a space for her to voice her passions concerning these structural issues and the resources and methods to combat them. She hopes to help TAC TAC push for effective structural changes, as she believes that all people deserve equal access and treatment within healthcare.

Lastly, Saida loves to cook, is a henna artist, and is the oldest of 6!


Jessica Taylor is a senior broadcast journalism major at Wayne State University. Jessica dedicates her time to helping improve the lives of Black students at WSU. She serves as the College of Fine, Performing, and Communication Arts Student Senate representative for her University. There she spearheads the Black Student Success working group, committed to improving the experience of Black students across campus. As former Vice President of the Black Student Union WSU Chapter, Jessica is familiar with being in leadership among the African American community.

When she is not in class or helping a friend, you can often see Jessica hosting events as Chief Engagement Coordinator for the Journalism Institute for Media Diversity. She also engages with students and residential life as a resident advisor in Anthony Wayne Drive Apartments and as social media manager of Temple Campus Ministries.

Outside of her professional and academic commitments, she enjoys attending music festivals and spending time with family.


Ashanti Kenyatta Campbell uses He/Him/His pronouns. He is a writer with Staying Power in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He is a Muslim man who was born in Dearborn, MI, and moved to Ann Arbor when he was 8 years old. He then moved to Ypsilanti when he was 12 years old. Today at 20 years old, he is an actor, singer, and music creator. He has a 4-year-old dog named Ace that he loves.

Maria Thomas, MA, MPA

Advocacy Director at the University of Michigan C. S. Mott Children’s Hospital.