Public health is, and always has been, central to racial justice work. Structural racism plays a large role in determining the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age. These factors affect people’s access to quality housing, education, food, transportation, political power, and other social determinants of health. Understanding and addressing systemic racism from this public health perspective is crucial to eliminating racial and ethnic inequities, and to improving opportunity and well-being across communities.
Join YWCA Central Carolinas as we explore the weathering effect that racism has on public health, especially for children and youth, with local public health and mental health experts. Meet our panelists.
Dr. Raynard Washington, MPH, PhD
Dr. Raynard Washington is the Deputy Health Director for Mecklenburg County.
Prior to this, he served as Chief Epidemiologist for the City of Philadelphia. While there, he made significant progress in expanding their public health data systems and reporting, led the development and early implementation of the city’s violence prevention strategy, and championed the role of public health in local government with a focus on achieving health equity.
Dr. Washington earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Pittsburgh.
Ophelia Garmon-Brown, MD, M.Div.
Dr. Ophelia Garmon-Brown wears many hats in the Charlotte community. Dr. Garmon-Brown serves as Co-founder of the Charlotte Community Health Clinic, a free clinic for the poor and uninsured. Formerly, Dr. Garmon-Brown also served as Medical Director of the health clinic at the Salvation Army’s Women’s and Children’s Shelter; and in her spare time, she volunteered at the Charlotte Pregnancy Care Center.
In her current role as Chief Community Wellness and Health Equity Executive at Novant Health and as a board-certified family practitioner, Dr. Garmon-Brown has touched the lives of thousands of patients from Charlotte, her home since 1980, to distant countries around the world in her work as a medical missionary.
Dr. Garmon-Brown received a bachelor’s degree in biology from North Carolina Central University and medical degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also holds a master’s in divinity from the Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education.
She has received numerous awards for her dedication and commitment to serving the community. Her more recent honors include 2020’s Charlotte Regional Business Alliance Citizen of the Carolinas and Ernst & Young – Innovators/Trailblazers of Charlotte Recognition.
Calvin Fox, MSW, LCSW
Calvin H. Fox is a practicing Licensed Clinical Social Worker with Perry Counseling. His experience as a therapist spans the U. S. coast to coast and includes experience abroad in Wales, United Kingdom.
Throughout his career, he has been intentional about reaching as diverse group of people as he could, particularly the historically marginalized and undeserved.
As it concerns marginalized groups, part of Calvin’s work has helped to differentiate clinical from the criminal as he has performed mitigation for clients on death row, helping defense teams see potential connections between their life histories and their alleged crimes. His work has distinguished the pathological from the sociological as he has advocated for youth who have been misdiagnosed, possibly due to their ethnic and socioeconomic situations. His work with women/girls has focused on the role of assessment instruments in the field of therapy and how they contain gender bias when personality disorder criteria is applied to men and women.
Calvin is committed to creating space for healing and holding space with the clients that he serves. His approach is compassionate, empathic and empowerment based. Holistic understanding and healing are central to his work.