UW Today

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March 19, 2010

UW Students for Equal Health Hosts Free Conference on Media and Health April 10 with Major Media Experts

UW Health Sciences/UW Medicine

University of Washington’s Students for Equal Health, an undergraduate-led effort to address health inequalities, will be hosting “Get the Scoop: Media & Health,” a free conference, Saturday, April 10, on campus to increase awareness of how media is used to shape views of health, equality and social justice.

The conference will feature a great selection of speakers, including Mary Mapes, the producer on the 60 Minutes story that broke the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in Iraq, and keynote speaker Nancy Lee, president of Social Marketing Services Inc., who has helped to develop more than 100 social marketing campaign strategies.

Other speakers include award-winning documentary producer and director Daniel Hart, who will be on a panel speaking about ethics of images; multimedia journalist Ansel Herz in Haiti, will join a panel on new media tools; and representatives from a local Latino LGBTQ health organization Entre Hermanos will speak about campaigning for public health.

Mapes, meanwhile, will join Lisa Cohen, director of the Washington Global Health Alliance and former CBS producer, in a panel on health in the news.

Conference organizers say this will not be your average academic conference.

“One of our main goals is to incorporate a variety of interactive social media tools,” said Nina Tan, conference co-organizer. “We want to want to provide attendees with more opportunity for participation.”

Kids and teens spend an average of seven hours and 38 minutes using media on a typical day, said a report in January 2010 from Kaiser Family Foundation, so the conference will seek to use a wide array of media.

The conference will also feature performances from students in a popular UW open mic group on campus called R.E.T.R.O. (Respect. Educate. Teach. Reflect. Observe.). Their packed monthly performances draw audience members from all around the Seattle area.

Conference panels include Visualizing Health: The Ethics of Images, New Media: Raising Awareness in Today’s World, Health in the News: What Makes it and What Doesn’t? and Campaigning for Public Health.

This event is free of charge and open to the general public and is being held in the Foege Building South. Currently, the conference is at capacity but organizers believe that up to 50 percent of those registered may not attend, so they encourage others to sign up. More information and registration is online at: www.uwseh.org

Students for Equal Health is a coalition of dedicated undergraduates founded to address health disparities at their deeply ingrained foundations. The conference is co-sponsored by ASUW, the University of Washington Department of Department of Global Health and the University of Washington Department of Communication.