Social Justice Advocates Gathering to Fight For Equality in U.S. Health Care System, Film Screening and Workshop 5/13/09

“The Deadliest Disease in America”
Film Gives Voice to Many Who Have Faced Inequality in
the U.S. Health Care System

What: Documentary Film: The Deadliest Disease in America
Workshop Series to follow

Who: Thomas Lovia Brown, (Founder/Principal Consultant, The Diversity Leadership Forum) Zita Dixon, (Health care Equality Project) Dr. Marion Evans(Director of Health and Social Services for the City of Bridgeport) Dr. Bert M. Petersen, Jr., (Founder and Managing Partner, Global Cancer Control, LLC) and Dr. Janice Walker, (RN, MPH President/CEO The EBEN Group, LLC)

Where: Touro Law College, main auditorium
225 Eastview Dr., Central Islip, NY.

When: Wednesday, May 13, 2009, 5:30 p.m.

To RSVP for the event, please send an email to or call the Office of Minority Health of the Suffolk County Department of Health Services at 631-853-5078.

Central Islip, NY – On May 13th, 2009 nearly a dozen civil rights, social justice, health care advocacy, and consumer groups gathered in Suffolk County New York as part of a series of nationwide health care disparities workshops and film screenings to raise awareness of health care disparities. The screenings and workshops are intended to inform policymakers, activists, medical professionals and communities to develop a cohesive and unified strategy to reform the American health care system. URU The Right to Be, Inc. is producing more than 13 sister events in cities around the country to raise awareness of the devastating effects of systemic racism in the health care system. Community members, policymakers, activists, medical professionals, and others are working together to ensure that health care reform addresses the serious and pervasive inequalities that plague the American health care system. They are fighting for health care that works for EVERYONE.

Also co-hosting the event are the Arthur Risbrook Medical Society, Inc., ERASE Racism, Latino Health Initiative of Suffolk County, Literacy Suffolk, Inc., Nassau-Suffolk Law Services, National Association of Puerto Rican and Hispanic Social Workers, Suffolk County Minority Health Action Coalition, The Suffolk County Department of Health Services’ Office of Minority Health and the Witness Project® of Long Island. The evening will end with a Q&A session. For more information about The Deadliest Disease in America and to view a trailer of the film, visit URU’s website at The eye-opening film, by producer and director Crystal Emery, will be followed by two participatory workshops: “What Racism Looks Like in Health-Care Delivery and Why You Should Report It” and “Empowering Community Organizations Working with Legislators for Change.”

Crystal’s documentary follows four individuals, including the filmmaker, whose personal stories humanize the health care reform debate. Emery shares her encounters with racism while navigating the American health care system. Emery, whose arms and legs are paralyzed as a result of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a form of Muscular Dystrophy, shares the stories to stimulate individuals to action. In late April, at an event with the Congressional Black Caucus, Ms. Emery will be honored with the CBC’s Leadership in Journalism award for her work on the film and for her tireless efforts to generate the political will necessary to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities. Additionally at an event on May 19th, 2009 with Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, Ms. Emery’s film will be screened at the U.S. Capitol Visitor’s Center.

“Structural racism in health care can make the difference between life and death for people of color,” said Elaine Gross, President of ERASE Racism. “We must act now to demand equality in health care from lawmakers and decision-makers.

“The ultimate goal of this film is to illuminate disparate treatment based on racial, economic and ethnic differences in order to help achieve a health-care system that serves all Americans equally,” explains Crystal Emery. Filmmaker Bill Duke calls the film, “…daring and insightful . . . it challenges all of us to demand equal treatment of everyone in the American health care system.”

“The Health care Equality Project is a proud co-sponsor of this event. Crystal’s powerful film puts a human face on the tragic and deadly consequences of health care disparities,” said Zita Dixon of the Health care Equality Project. (HEP) “HEP is partnering with social activists like Crystal to amplify and unify voices in the fight for health care equality so that Congress finally acts to address this cruel and preventable injustice.”

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