March 22, 2017

March 23 symposium: Violent Interactions between Law Enforcement and Black Americans

EMU helping sponsor community event at U-M School of Public Health to discuss historical context, public health impacts and solutions

YPSILANTI – Last summer, Dallas trauma surgeon Brian H. Williams, MD, FACS, found himself thrust into the middle of a national crisis. A peaceful protest about police treatment of black Americans had ended in bloodshed, with 12 officers shot by a lone gunman. Williams led the team that worked to save their lives – and emerged with a new drive to confront violence and racism.

On March 23, he’ll share his story with leaders, scholars and community members at a special symposium on violent interactions between law enforcement and black Americans. Washtenaw County Public Health is organizing this event with local law enforcement, universities, including Eastern Michigan, leaders, and groups.

“This is a critical opportunity for us as a community to have an open discussion about the interplay of violence and race and its impact on our collective health,” says Jessie Kimbrough Marshall, MD, MPH, medical director with Washtenaw County Public Health. “Together, we will focus our energies toward tangible solutions and how we can best achieve them.”

The symposium is free and open to the public and will be held from 6 to 9 pm in the auditorium of the School of Public Health II building at 1420 Washington Heights. Light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP.

The event will take a look at the public health impact of such interactions – as well as the historical and current factors that play into it. It is designed to bring people from many fields together to work toward solutions through participation on action teams, which will continue their work after the event is over.

The event will explore how individuals can advocate for social justice, anti-bias reforms, and community building. Community members, students, public policy and health professionals, social scientists, legislators, and law enforcement are especially encouraged to attend.

Event Details

Symposium on Violent Interactions between Law Enforcement and Black Americans: A discussion on the Historical Context, Current Events, Public Health Impact, and the Quest for Solutions

Thursday, March 23, 2017, 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

University of Michigan School of Public Health II (SPH II) Auditorium 1420 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Keynote Speaker:

Dr. Brian H. Williams, MD, FACS

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center


Herbert Smitherman, MD, MPH, FACP, Vice Dean of Diversity and Community Affairs, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, Wayne State University School of Medicine and the Karmanos Cancer Institute, President and CEO of Health Centers Detroit Foundation


Dr. Austin McCoy: Historian, Activist, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Michigan Sheriff Jerry Clayton: Washtenaw County Sheriff

Former State Representative David Rutledge: Michigan House of Representatives, District 54

Dr. Alford Young, Jr.: Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology, University of Michigan

Washtenaw County Public Health is pleased to sponsor this event with support and collaboration from the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office; the University of Michigan’s Department of Internal Medicine, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, School of Public Health, Institute for Research on Women and Gender, and Students of Color of Rackham; as well as Eastern Michigan University and My Brother’s Keeper-Washtenaw County. Find more information here.

Contact Geoff Larcom,, 734.487.4401

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