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Social Justice Summits

Health Equity is a Global Human Right!

Social Justice Summit Statement

Social Justice Summit Statement

Adler University’s mission for community engagement, social justice, and socially responsible practice requires intentional space and time to reflect, plan, and act.

Our annual Social Justice Summits allow all staff, students, and faculty to engage in this process to uphold and enact our mission.

These summits allow us to engage in a University-wide reflection on socially responsible practice, gain knowledge and skills to expand our activism, and engage in social justice movements.


This year we will:

IGNITE our dialogue this Fall term by taking a take a deeper dive into the root cause of the symptoms we explored last year, learn how it shows up in our health, and take collective actions with our community partners to confront, reverse and remedy health inequity.

CONNECT in Concurrent Sessions in the Spring term to gain more knowledge, skills, and perspectives on social justice, civic engagement, and activism.

and PUSH ourselves into action during the spring and summer months by enacting Adler Action Days!

Together we IGNITE, CONNECT, and PUSH for a more just society!

Questions to keep pondering:

  1. Head: As you listened to the responses of the panel, what new thoughts and questions are emerging for you?
  2. Heart: What personal connections are you making to the topic? Be self-reflective.
  3. Gut: As members of Adler University, what should we be doing to fight against these injustices? Consider the Essentials for SRP in your responses.


Last year we explored how COVID-19, structural racism, police brutality, and economic inequality are intersectional symptoms of historical oppression that we must use in-depth analysis to understand and dismantle. This year we will take a deeper dive into the root cause of these symptoms, learn how it shows up in our health, and take collective actions with our community partners to confront, reverse and remedy health inequity.

Knowledge Repository Resources

The links below are either freely available or should be accessible to anyone with Adler login credentials through the library’s resource.

Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • Define health equity.
  • Identify how you are affected by health inequities.
  • Identify how vulnerable populations are affected by health inequity.
  • Describe how socially responsible practice is our method of analysis and movement to dismantle health inequity.
  • Apply skills and tools to work collaboratively and collectively with community partners on health equity pursuits and actions.
Social Justice Summit: Ignite Panel

October Social Justice Summit: Ignite Panel

Please click here to view the recording of the October Social Justice Summit: Ignite Panel


David Ansell, M.D., M.P.H.

David Ansell, MD, MPH is the Michael E Kelly Presidential Professor of Internal Medicine and Senior Vice President/Associate Provost for Community Health Equity at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. He is a 1978 graduate of SUNY Upstate Medical College. He did his medical training at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. He spent 13 years at Cook County as an attending physician and ultimately was appointed Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine at Cook County Hospital. From 1995 to 2005 he was Chairman of Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Chicago. He was recruited to Rush University Medical Center as its inaugural Chief Medical Officer in 2005, a position he held until 2015. His research and advocacy has been focused on eliminating health inequities. In 2011 he published a memoir of his times at County Hospital, County: Life, Death and Politics at Chicago’s Public Hospital. His latest book is The Death Gap: How Inequality Kills was published in 2017.

Adler Action

Adler Action

Chicago Community Partner Organizations:

  • Together Chicago: Together Chicago exists as a catalyst for sustainable impact in Chicago. To support the education sector, Adler has recently offered over 40 interns to support the Social Emotional well-being of students and families across Chicago. Click here to donate. Click here to volunteer.
  • Grace Therapy and Wellness Center: Grace Therapy and Wellness Center in Oak Park specializes in couple and family therapy as well as individuals with relationship problems. We will soon offer wellness services such as trauma-informed yoga and acupuncture. Click here to donate. Click here to volunteer.
  • Chicago Housing Initiative (CHI): The mission of the Chicago Housing Initiative (CHI) is to amplify the power of low-income Chicago residents to preserve, improve, and expand low-cost rental housing, stabilize communities facing displacement, and advance racial and economic equity and inclusion across all of Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods. Click here to donate. To volunteer, call 630.387.9387.
  • McKeever Health and Clinical Services: McKeever Health and Clinical Services, LLC provides trauma-informed care for vulnerable, special-needs populations such as those living with autism, survivors of abuse, and front-line workers. McKeever Health’s mission is to not only engage direct care and care management but also provide resources, education, and care coordination. To donate via Zelle: [email protected]. Click here to volunteer.
  • Coalition on Urban Girls: The mission of the Coalition on Urban Girls (CUG) is to improve the health, safety, and wellness of girls; through advocacy, research, cross-sector collaboration, and training that strengthen the capacity and sustainability of girl-serving organizations. Vision – The Coalition on Urban Girls strives for a society in which all girls are well. We work toward eliminating barriers to girls’ success and ensuring that every girl has the opportunities and access she needs to thrive. Click here to donate. Click here to volunteer.

Vancouver Community Partner Organizations:

  • Moving Forward Family Services: Moving Forward Family Services provides low barrier counselling and support services to residents across Canada and beyond. The organization’s vision is ‘A world without sorrow’ and our mandate is to provide counselling to anyone who needs it, as well as partner with as many agencies as possible to overcome silos within the social service, criminal justice and education sectors. Moving Forward sees community-post secondary relationships as having potential for transformative systemic change; many of our services are provided by fully supervised students on unpaid practicums in psychology, counselling psychology, social work or social services work drawn to our low-barrier service delivery approach. Click here to donate. Click here to volunteer.
  • Mavis McMullen Housing Society: Mavis McMullen Housing Society’s (MMHS) women-led housing model has been offering stable, affordable, and independent housing to women and their families living in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver since 1986. This diverse group includes single moms and their young children, elder residents, Indigenous women, and more. Our resilient women and their families are determined to live abundant lives despite facing complex challenges, including poverty, addiction and mental illness, and trauma. They are united in their desire to live – and thrive – independently. Click here to donate. Click here to volunteer.
  • The Disability Foundation: The Disability Foundation, in supporting our six affiliated societies, has been fostering meaningful experiences for people with disabilities through outdoor recreation, social connectedness and innovative adapted devices – for more than 25 years, from Metro Vancouver, throughout B.C. and across Canada. We envision a world where people with physical disabilities feel empowered and inspired to re-imagine what is possible. Click here to donate.
  • The Women’s Economic Council: The Women’s Economic Council is a national charitable organization. Our mission is to advance every woman’s participation in building resilient and inclusive economies, especially women who experience multiple systemic barriers. We achieve our mission through consultation, networking, research and advocacy to understand and address the challenges women experience creating sustainable livelihoods. Click here to donate. Click here to volunteer.


Participation guidelines:

  • Please ensure that your full name appears on your Zoom profile to document your attendance.
  • Please review A Movement for Social Justice: Socially Responsible Practice, especially pages 14-21.
  • We will be recording this panel session, please keep yourself muted until the moderator announces the break-out session.
  • If you have questions, please post them in the chat.
  • Please give your full participation throughout the day, your contributions are invaluable.
  • Be courageous! Some discussions may feel uncomfortable, but remember we are in this together.
  • Use inquiry to make sure you understand others before making a statement.
  • Lean into the learning experience.
Social Media

Social Media

We encourage you to share your thoughts on how we can continue to push ourselves as socially responsible practitioners on social media using #AdlerForSocialJustice.

January 26th Social Justice Summit Sessions

January 26th Social Justice Summit Sessions

Please see below for the Social Justice Summit schedule and presentation topics. Clicking each session title will take you to the registration link. Registration is encouraged to ensure you will have a space reserved in the sessions of your choice. Times listed below are in U.S. Central and Pacific time.

10:30-10:55 a.m./8:30-8:55 a.m.: Opening and Grounding

Opening and Grounding

Presented by: Dr. Marieke Van Puymbroeck

Land acknowledgements; Learning objectives; Center, breathe, focus; Acknowledgement of change and loss; Affirmations to move throughout the day with purpose

11:00-11:15 a.m./9:00-9:15 a.m.: Welcome


Presented by Dr. Raymond E. Crossman and Camille Williamson

11:15-12:00 noon/9:15-10:00 a.m.: Morning Keynote

Freeing Our Minds and Feet to Walk Pathways of Equity: A Call to Action Among the Helping and Healing Professions

Presented by: Dr. Katrina Plamondon

In this keynote address, Dr. Katrina Plamondon calls the helping and healing professions to act meaningfully on common commitments to justice. Rejecting the legitimacy and neutrality of apathy and overwhelm, she frames nice-sounding rhetoric and good intentions as risky acts of reinforcing coloniality and its accompanying inequities. She invites shifting practices of thinking and doing, inviting the helping professions to see ourselves as capable and equipped to be part of the kinds of transformations needed to collectively walk pathways to equity. In a complementary follow-up workshop, she extends the conversation to critically reflect on equity-centered tools for supporting this transformation.

12:00-12:15 p.m./10:00-10:15 a.m.: Break
12:15-1:45 p.m./10:15-11:45 a.m.: Concurrent Sessions I

Please click the session you would like to attend and complete the registration page. “A Block” sessions are for faculty only; “B Block” sessions are open for everyone.

A Block: Teaching About Health Disparities in Relation to Quality of Life

B Block: How is my Health Connected to Community and Global Health, and What Do We Do to Create More Health Equity?

1:45-3:00 p.m./11:45-1:00 p.m.: Lunch Break
3:00-4:30 p.m./1:00-2:30 p.m.: Concurrent Sessions II

Please click the session you would like to attend and complete the registration page. “A Block” sessions are for faculty only; “B Block” sessions are open for everyone.

A Block: Teaching Civic Knowledge and Skills

B Block: Gaining Civic Knowledge and Skills

  • Community Organizing 101: What is “Community Organizing”? And how do you conduct “Community Organizing”?

    Presented by: CivicLab (Jonathan Peck)
    Chicago is the home for modern community organizing and is the launching pad for many robust civic efforts across the landscape -such as, a push for elective school board, aggressive work around police accountability, vigorous neighborhood organizing, long-lived block clubs, etc. Participants will gain a thorough understanding of what community organizing is, the role of the organizer and the best and evolving practices in use today that can be applied to the ever-increasing challenges that people and communities face in today’s society.

  • Campaigning 101: What is “Grassroots and Electoral Campaigning”? And how do you conduct “Grassroots and Electoral Campaigning”

    Presented by: CivicLab (Tom Tresser)
    Social Justice Practitioners and public champions from the community should be standing for office and taking leadership roles in developing new civic and community-based policies and programs. It is imperative that cornerstone institutions model and preach and prepare their constituents to stand for local elective office and help others to run. Toward that end this session will introduce the concept of how to run or help someone run for local office as a champion of justice and service and the basic approaches and framework of any grassroots and electoral campaign being implemented in today’s society.

  • Building Community for Social Change

    Presented by: Anthony Johnson
    This session will provide participants with an overview of the importance of and how to engage in community building and coalition-based movements.  The session will conclude with open dialogue and Q&A.

4:30-4:45 p.m./2:30-2:45 p.m.: Break
4:45-5:25 p.m./2:45-3:25 p.m.: Closing Panel Featuring Adler Alumni

Alumni Efforts for Health Equity

We’ll hear what some of our alumni are doing to promote health equity and socially responsible practice Featuring Rebecca Johnson (Chicago campus), Jennifer Van Wyck (Vancouver campus), and Jess Thompson (Online campus).

5:25-5:45 p.m./3:25-3:45 p.m.: Musical Performance

Musical Performance

Tiaybe and Urban Soul Fusion

Multi-genre band: soul, funk, house

5:45-6:45 p.m./3:45-4:45 p.m.: Evening Session

Civic and Community Engagement 2.0: What is “Civic and Community Engagement 2.0”? And how do you conduct “Civic and Community Engagement 2.0”?

Presented by CivicLab (Tom Tresser and Jonathan Peck)
In order to be fully effective at enacting social and political change, Social Justice Summit participants must gain advanced knowledge, skills and attributes in how to design, build and sustain civic and community engagement in a way that aligns with their personal, interpersonal and collective style of people and institutional engagement. This session will start the preparation process for participants to become accomplished and ethical leaders in the larger community, be more prepared to enter the workplace, school space and larger community with the tools needed to successfully engage and manage diverse environments with the ability to think critically about problems and solutions and how to impact people and communities differently based on identity, privilege and oppression.