Mental Health Monday Addressing Health Disparities: Empowering Communities Through Storytelling

According to the Centers for Disease Control, health disparities are “preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence, or opportunities to achieve optimal health that are experienced by socially disadvantaged populations.” Health disparities have a profound impact on the public health and overall well-being of our communities.

This Virtual Mental Health Monday, we are joined by Dr. David Fakunle, a public health scholar-practitioner and professional storyteller, and Dr. Brandi Shah, UAB physician, creative writer and digital storyteller. Drs. Fakunle and Shah will share with us their unique approaches to addressing health disparities by listening deeply to the patients and communities they serve and using storytelling techniques to empower and amplify their stories. We will also learn how this type of approach can play a role in policy change and ultimately catalyze a national shift toward health equity.

About the Speakers // David Olawuyi Fakunle, Ph.D., is a “mercenary for change,” employing any skill and occupying any space to help elevate everyone divested from their truest selves, especially those who are Black, Indigenous and People of Color. David serves as adjunct assistant professor at the University of Florida Center for Arts in Medicine, and associate faculty in the Mental Health department of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. David’s interests include stressors within the built environment, societal manifestations of racism, and the use of arts and culture to strengthen health, equity and ultimately liberation.

Dr. Brandi Shah is a family medicine physician who specializes in adolescent and young adult health. She is the inaugural director of the Office of Identity, Inclusion and Collective Conscience in the UAB Department of Family and Community Medicine. She is also a stalwart advocate for sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice. Before her medical career, she was a lifelong creative writer, and most recently a burgeoning digital artist and storyteller. Combining her passions for storytelling and health justice, her ultimate vision is to create a community storytelling lab for health justice that can serve as a “third place” where people of all identities and backgrounds can congregate, affirm, collaborate, and reclaim stories about health and resilience for catharsis, collective voice, public awareness, advocacy and social change.

UAB AIM’s Virtual Mental Health Monday Series is made possible by

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This event is FREE and open to the public.


All events are subject to change.

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