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Public health experts to hold international conference on black health in the Western Hemisphere

The Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has now opened registration for the International Conference on Health in the African Diaspora ICHAD 2012. The conference will be held July 4-8, 2012 at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

The theme of ICHAD 2012 is "The Great Scattering: Connecting the Dots between Slavery and Contemporary Health in the African Diaspora."

Today there are approximately 160 million black descendants of the trans Atlantic slave trade living throughout the Western Hemisphere. ICHAD 2012 is an international conference that will explore how this population is faring today. From Canada to Argentina, blacks throughout the region share a common history of slavery, marginalization, and resilience. However, this group has also evolved through divergent social and cultural experiences, with research showing striking commonalities and differences in the health and well-being of slave descendants.

There is also a stark health divide between slave descendants and other groups. For example, compared to the infant mortality experience of general populations in the Western Hemisphere, black infants throughout the region are at least twice as likely to die before their first birthday.

In the summer of 2012, researchers, policymakers, health advocates and other change agents from across the hemisphere will gather in Baltimore to explore the health status of black descendants of the trans Atlantic slave trade and to identify multilevel actions, including international partnerships, for improving the health of this population.

Presenters at the conference hail from over ten academic disciplines, including public health, sociology, medicine, economics, history, anthropology, nursing, and psychology. Presentations will focus on more than a dozen countries in the region, including Brazil, the United States, Colombia, Cuba, Jamaica, Canada, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic.

Contact: Natalie Wood-Wright
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health

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