Monday, March 23, 2009

Film & Discussion Series Kicks Off!

An audience of nearly a hundred gathered in the main auditorium of the Athens Clarke County Public Library this past Sunday to kickoff The 2009 Unnatural Causes Film & Discussion Series! Our opening event began with introductions and thanks to all of our partner organizations from Jill Severn, Head of Access and Outreach at the Russell.

From there, we jumped right into the screening of “In Sickness and Wealth,” the first episode in the seven-part documentary series Unnatural Causes – which introduces the audience to four individuals from different socioeconomic classes living in Louisville, Kentucky. During the next hour, we see how their social class, race, and neighborhood shape their health and explore the broader themes addressed throughout the other sections of the documentary.

Dr. Camara Jones, Research Director on Social Determinants of Health and Equity at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gave a stunning keynote address. Jones opened her portion of the program by asking viewers what struck them most about the film – what were they taking away from the opening episode? From there, she used definitions, stories, and analogies to describe what social determinants are and how they can affect health.

She put forth her own “Cliff Analogy” -- a simple explanation of the multiple levels of health intervention available and why some individuals or groups fall through the cracks of the healthcare system. She concluded with “The Gardner’s Tale” – a story based on her own experiences which describes levels of racism and how we, as a society, can combat racism.

The event closed with a few more questions from the audience and a reception of healthy snacks – vegetable & fruit trays! We were overwhelmed by the size and diversity of our audience, and hope that it only continues to grow (in both ways) as our series continues.

Our next program will take place this Sunday, March 29, 3PM at the ACC Public Library. We’ll be screening Episode 2: When the Bough Breaks, and talking with Dr. Carol Hogue and Dr. Fleda Jackson, both featured in this episode of the film, as well as local neonatologist Dr. Maria Faase. For more information on this program, visit:

Click Here for More Images from the Event!
Post by Jan Levinson, Assistant Outreach Archivist, Russell Library

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