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Just Conversations: Our Upcoming Event Series in Partnership with The Center for Brooklyn History

Three black women with the title legacy.
Images, clockwise from top left: Dr. Aletha Maybank, Dr. Uché Blackstock (photo by Diane Zhao), book cover, Jenna Flanagan

Just Conversations: Medical Racism, An Issue of Life and Death

Presented by Brooklyn Org in partnership with the Center for Brooklyn History at Brooklyn Public Library

Center for Brooklyn History, 128 Pierrepont St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
6:30 PM–8:00 PM EDT


Just Conversations is a new series co-presented by the Center for Brooklyn History and Brooklyn Org that brings into dialogue injustices in our borough, city, and society and gives voice to the change makers who move us towards a more equitable future. First up: Medical Racism.

Medical Racism, An Issue of Life and Death

Centuries of racism have had profound negative impacts on the healthcare available to communities of color in this country. From maternal care; to access to resources; to addressing the broad and pervasive social inequalities that result in subpar care like housing, wealth, education, and employment; to anti-black racism towards healthcare professionals, health equity in America is far from our reality. Dr. Uché Blackstock lays out a vivid picture of what is wrong and what must be done to remedy it, in her new book Legacy: A Black Physician Reckons with Racism in Medicine. As the leader and founder of the organization Advancing Health Equity, Dr. Blackstock is on the front lines of creating solutions. She discusses our society’s deeply racialized health-related inequalities and the road to change with yet another giant in the fight to provide racially equitable care, Dr. Aletha Maybank, the American Medical Association’s Chief Health Equity Officer and founding leader for the AMA’s Center for Health Equity. Their conversation is moderated by journalist Jenna Flanagan.


Dr. Uché Blackstock is a physician and thought leader on bias and racism in health care. She is the founder and CEO of Advancing Health Equity, appears regularly on MSNBC and NBC News, and is a former associate professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine and the former faculty director for recruitment, retention, and inclusion in the Office of Diversity Affairs at NYU School of Medicine. Dr. Blackstock received both her undergraduate and medical degrees from Harvard University, making her and her twin sister, Oni, the ­first Black mother-daughter legacies from Harvard Medical School. Dr. Blackstock currently lives in her hometown of Brooklyn, New York, with her two school-age children.

Dr. Aletha Maybank is a pediatrician and preventive medicine physician, a public health professional, and a Senior Vice President within the American Medical Association. As Chief Health Equity Officer, she is the founding leader for the AMA’s Center for Health Equity, and a recognized speaker, writer, and expert on health equity and racial justice. In these capacities, she is influencing the embedding of equity throughout the AMA Enterprise and across the healthcare ecosystem. Dr. Maybank uses her platform to make injustice visible across our health systems and country, with emphasis upon solutions that honor the legacy of our ancestors while preserving our desires for rest and joy. She has won numerous awards for her groundbreaking efforts.

Jenna Flanagan is the former host of WNET Thirteen’s news magazine MetroFocus, where she served as journalist and host from 2016 until 2023 when the show went off air. Prior, she spent 6 ½ years writing, reporting and producing for WNYC’s All Things Considered, where her work also aired nationally on NPR. Earlier, Jenna was on-air at WBGO, Newark Public Radio, and covered state politics for New York NOW, the award-winning public affairs show, which airs on Albany’s PBS stations WMHT. She currently co-hosts the podcast Laid Off and Looking with her former Executive Producer Domenic Camia, where the two journalists consider why news media seemingly ‘imploded’ and if there is any hope in saving the industry and the jobs it created.