The first day of the Global Forum started off with time in studio groups to recenter, refocus, and begin building a foundation of empathy and awareness of each groups’ country’s cultural context. Groups used various empathy-building activities to understand the everyday impacts of disease-related disabilities. Clare W. ‘19 and Grace W. ‘19 explain their group’s activity and talk about the day:
Then, the Upper and Lower School gathered in the theater to hear from keynote speaker Dr. Joia Mukherjee, Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and Chief Medical Officer of Partners In Health.
Dr. Mukherjee spoke about the influence of her experience studying and treating childhood malnutrition in Africa on her perspective on human rights work. She said that “the myth of the ignorance of the black mother is the root of a lot of misinformation in public health” and emphasized the importance of considering social determinants of health, including education, housing, access to food, and forms of institutional racism, including colonialism and other expressions of white supremacy. She also spoke about healthcare as a human right and offered the global AIDS movement as a model for comprehensive global healthcare beyond national boundaries.
The student and faculty response to Dr. Mukherjee’s talk was overwhelmingly positive. “I’m still reliving that assembly,” said Ms. Brady, and Julia M. ’19 said, “I loved her connection between human rights and disease, and I think the interactive aspect of her presentation really got people excited for the rest of the week.” Students also cited Dr. Mukherjee’s explicitness in addressing racism as a determinant of health as a particularly poignant and valuable part of her talk.
After another block of group work, students were excited about the directions their projects were going in.
A number of Upper School and Lower School groups were eager to share insight on their ideas and progress on their projects from Day 1 of Global Forum!
We closed out the day with trivia in Sibling Squads in the gym! The winners will be announced tomorrow, so stay tuned to see who wins the special prize!
A group of Lower Schoolers shares that they already looking forward to tomorrow’s Workshop blocks during which both Upper and Lower School students will have the opportunity to hear from and engage in activities with more experts in their field:
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