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Vanessa Ferrel (Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine)

April 21, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Vanessa Ferrel

*All Spring Design@Large talks will be hosted online. This aligns with UC San Diego policy that all events be hosted virtual during the Spring 2021 quarter.

Medicine as a Microcosm: Deconstructing Kyriarchy in Healthcare

Medicine is a microcosm of society. Racism, capitalism, heterosexism, cissexism, and other structures of oppression invariably influence healthcare and health outcomes for minoritized and oppressed people. Social determinants of health equity help us understand the interconnectedness of these systems of oppression, how they’re replicated in society, and how they are perpetuated in medicine. Deconstructing systems of oppression is necessary in the fight for health equity. Dr. Ferrel will explore the foundation of race as a social construct, discuss inequities in health outcomes and medical education, and apply principles of justice, liberation, and abolition to healthcare as we collectively imagine what it takes to design a more inclusive, equitable healthcare environment.

About the Speaker

Vanessa K Ferrel, MD MPH (she/they) is a graduate of UC San Diego School of Medicine and Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health who is passionate about employing health equity, social medicine, and antiracism as practices to achieve liberation for marginalized and oppressed people. Dr Ferrel seeks to apply an anti-racist, health equity, and intersectional justice lens to all aspects of medicine and healthcare. Dr Ferrel has created medical education curricula based in structural competency, intersectionality, and critical race theory such as Intersections of LGBTQ Health (UCSD), and Social Medicine Immersion Month (Montefiore). As a leftist and an abolitionist, Dr Ferrel is dedicated to decrying structural oppression, supporting radical community organizing, and imagining a world without harm. Dr Ferrel can be found on Twitter (frequently) at @vanessaferrel.

About Design@Large

Design@Large is a speaker series that is hosted by The Design Lab at UCSD, where each quarter we examine a topic in society and the relevance and implications through the lens of human centered design.

Co-hosted by Elizabeth Eikey and Edward Wang and developed in partnership with Carrie Sawyer of Diversity by Design, Design@Large this quarter is a continuation of Winter 2021. The focus is racism in the design of everyday things across a range of topics, such as artificial intelligence, healthcare, advertising, and more. Talks will help shed light on the historical context of racism, the consequences of “designing” without understanding racism’s deep roots, and provide examples of anti-racist and equitable approaches in practice. Too often we want to jump straight to action, but without building our capacity to understand racism (and other “isms”) and critically evaluating its impact, we perpetuate racism and inequity – even with the best intentions. Through an exciting lineup of speakers, this series begins to make connections between history and designing and aims to promote awareness around the lifelong practice of anti-racist work across a variety of interconnected domains.


April 21, 2021
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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