Day of Dialogue

5th Annual Day of Dialogue

Racism is a Public Health Issue


Wednesday, October 19, 2022

The MCLA Day of Dialogue is a campus-wide alternative day of education, with suspended day classes to ensure full campus participation by students, faculty, and staff. This year’s event, held on Wednesday, October 19, will occur virtually with some in-person engagement to allow for the greatest participation. 
This year's theme is Racism is a Public Health Issue. The 2020 social unrest and protests and disproportional deaths of Black and Brown people during the ​pandemic was an overdue catalyst for the need for the American people to have serious dialogue about racism and the systems that have contributed to longstanding health and economic disparities. Over the last 2 years, cities, counties, states, and community partners across sectors have declared racism a public health crisis.

Framing racism as a public health issue forces us to look at how racism permeates the lives of racially minoritized people from conception to death. It is abundantly clear that racism is lethal to Black Americans, Indigenous people, and other people of color. It kills in obvious ways and by fueling more subtle socioeconomic conditions (e.g., inequitable access to education, housing, employment; environmental injustice; bias in the judicial and criminal justice system) that, in turn, contribute to serious health issues such as increased risk of diabetes, stress, maternal mortality, hypertension, asthma, mental health conditions, and heart disease. These factors, along with other realities into which many racially minoritized people are born and live, work, and play are key drivers of unfair and unavoidable health inequities that, too often, result in illness and premature death. 
The Day of Dialogue program committee is seeking panels, experiential workshops, and facilitated dialogues that both showcase and allow for dialogue around the many ways in which we understand racism as a public health issue, including historically, scientifically, and through policy. 

Day of Dialogue sessions are expected to meaningfully address the following participant learning outcomes. Most sessions address 2-3 outcomes. While attending the Day of Dialogue, participants will: 

  • Critically reflect on and explain their own social identity in relation to public health and racial justice;  
  • Employ skills for effective dialogue, including deep listening, suspending judgments, identifying assumptions, voicing, reflection and inquiry, and respect;  
  • Analyze the individual, institutional, and societal components of social identity in U.S. society;  
  • Demonstrate the ability to empathize across and within social identity boundaries;  
  • Move from dialogue to action to create change and bridge differences in a variety of social contexts;  
  • Identify and address group dynamics and processes that enhance or hinder dialogue. 

Presenters are expected to design their session and materials to be fully accessible. Presenters should consult with Academic Technology for support and may refer to these guidelines for accessible presentations


If you are interested in organizing a session for this year’s Day of Dialogue, please complete this application by Friday, September 23