VIRTUAL Historia Medica Lecture: Merlin Chowkwanyun (Columbia University) – “Riots, Racism, and Urban Health Reform in the 1960s”

November 3, 2021
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Zoom conference (Virtual)

“Riots, Racism, and Urban Health Reform in the 1960s”

The 81st Historia Medica Lecture is hosted by the Bernard Becker Medical Library in collaboration with the Center for History of Medicine.

Event information

In the 1960s, racial uprisings across the United States put various elite institutions in American cities on the defensive. No longer could they ignore the suffering and anger of their most marginalized and ignored. Ritzy medical centers were no exception. This talk will explore the experience of South Central Los Angeles and the East Side of Cleveland during this era. It will consider implications for the present, a time of renewed attention to racial inequality and the civic responsibilities of medical centers to the neighborhoods that surround them.


Merlin Chowkwanyun, PhD, is the Donald Gemson Assistant Professor of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University. His work examines the history of community health; environmental health regulation; racial inequality; and social movement/activism around health. He is the author of All Health Politics is Local: Community Battles for Medical Care and Environmental Health. Dr. Chowkwanyun is also the Principal Investigator on a recent National Science Foundation Standard Research Grant for, a depository of millions of pages of once-secret documents on industrial poisons.

Full schedule, Center for History of Medicine lectures

For inquiries contact Laura Swofford.