Reimagining Health, Education, Social Justice

‘Reimagining: Health ∙ Education ∙ Social Justice’

Community Forum on the Health Impacts of Exploitive Ticketing and Avoidable School Suspensions on African Americans Living in Buffalo

  • Feb. 28, 2019, 4:30 PM – 8 PM, Buffalo Academy For Visual and Performing Arts

    Shaun Neims

The African American Health Disparities Task Force (AAHDTF) has announced “Reimagining: Health, Education, Social Justice…A Community Forum on the Health Impacts of Exploitive Ticketing and Avoidable School Suspensions on African Americans Living in Buffalo”will take place Thurs., Feb. 28, 2019 at the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts, 450 Masten Ave, Buffalo, NY 14209.

The “2019 Reimagining Forum” – in recognition of Black History Month – is free and open to the public. It is part of AAHDTF’s ongoing Igniting Hope Buffalo series. (Igniting Hope Buffalo 2018: “Building a Just Community with a Culture of Health and Equity” was held April 2018, 2018 at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Igniting Hope Buffalo 2019 is set for Aug. 17, 2019.)

The “2019 Reimagining Forum” will feature noted educator and school leader Shaun Nelms, Ed.D., Associate Professor (Clinical), Warner School of Education, University of Rochester; and Superintendent East High EPO; William & Sheila Konar Director of the Center for Urban Education Success Educational Leadership.https://www.warner.rochester.edu/facultystaff/who/nelms

Professor Nelms will keynote discussion focused on information and solutions pertaining to avoidable school suspensions.

Joanna Weiss, Co-Director, The Fines and Fees Justice Centerlocated at 185 W Broadway,  Suite C538, New York, NY, https://finesandfeesjusticecenter.org/team/ will address exploitive ticketing for small infractions such as parking violations, selling single cigarettes, loitering, etc., that serve as a tax on the African American community for government services that do not benefit the community, while at the same time significantly impacting the community’s physical and mental health.

Ms. Weiss holds a J.D. from the George Washington University Law School, an M.A. from the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs, and a B.A. in political science from Bryn Mawr College. Her experience includes serving as the Director of Criminal Justice at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation where she created and managed the Foundation’s fines and fees portfolio, garnering millions of dollars of support for 20 research, litigation and technical assistance projects to address the negative impacts of fines and fees in the justice system.

“Immediate stressors from unfair practices may produce health disparities such as depression and high blood pressure that physicians can treat. However, the economic and social impacts of unjust policies have life-long consequences for social determinants of health that changes in social policies must cure, “explained 2019 Forum Chair Linda Pessar, M.D., Director, Center For Medical Humanities, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry Emerita, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

“Unjust practices create immediate stressors that result in health disparities and long term consequences such as loss of drivers’ licenses, or failure to graduate from high school that are social determinants of health,” added Rev. George F. Nicholas, MDiv, Pastor, Lincoln Memorial United Methodist Church and AAHD Task Force Convener. “Furthermore, low income individuals can be forced to spend as much as 70 percent of their resources to resolve avoidable fines. This just adds to their economic burden and compounds problems that they – and ultimately – all of us will have to deal with.”

2019 Forum Agenda

  • 4:30 PM:Start
    • Registration
    • Information Tables
    • Healthy Dinner
  • 5 PM – 6 PM: Plenary Session
    • Professor Shaun Nelms, Ed.D., will lead discussion focused on information and solutions pertaining to avoidable school suspensions.
    • Joanna Weiss, JD, Co-Director, The Fines and Fees Justice Center,will address exploitive ticketing for small infractions that serve as a tax on the African American community.
  • 6 PM – 7:15 PM: Breakout Sessions

1) School Suspensions

2) Exploitive Ticketing

  • 7:20 PM – 8 PM: Summary Session

1) Attendee Responses – Reports from Breakout Sessions and connections to Social Determinants of Health and the African American community.