Event box

A keynote presentation and roundtable

Keynote Presentation by Dr. Eugenia South: Making Black Lives Matter in Philadelphia: Covid-19 Vaccine Equity and Gun Violence Prevention

In June 2020, thousands took to the streets in Philadelphia in support of Black lives and to protest police brutality. But how do we actually make Black lives matter in Philadelphia and across the nation? Gun violence is surging, claiming the lives of mostly Black young citizens. And while the Covid-19 pandemic has hit many Black communities the hardest, the initial vaccine roll-out has disproportionately vaccinated white individuals.

In this talk, Dr. Eugenia South will first explore how these crises are linked through the common root cause of structural racism. She will then use examples from her own work to describe how place-based, neighborhood centered solutions can address both gun violence and Covid-19 vaccine distribution inequities.


Roundtable Discussion: Making Black Lives Matter in Philadelphia: Perspectives from the Health Sciences


Bridgette Brawner, PhD, APRN, MDiv

Alison Buttenheim, PhD, MBA

Tarik S. Khan, MSN, RN, FNP-BC

moderated by Richard James, Nursing Liaison, Penn Libraries

This event was made possible through donors to the Penn Libraries' Social Equity & Community Fund.

Thursday, April 22, 2021
3:00pm - 5:00pm
More information:

Participant Bios

Keynote Speaker: Eugenia (Gina) South, MD MS

Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine
Vice Chair for Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity
Faculty Director for the Penn Urban Health Lab

Eugenia (Gina) South, MD MS is Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine where she serves as the Vice Chair for Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity. She is also the Faculty Director for the Penn Urban Health Lab. As a physician-scientist, her broad vision is to improve health and quality of life for residents in Black communities through both research and clinical work. Dr. South’s research agenda is focused on developing and testing individual and neighborhood level interventions to better understand the ways in which the physical and social attributes of where people live, work, and play influence physical and mental health, and community safety. She is particularly passionate about leveraging urban nature as a community health tool. Her research is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Her work has been published in JAMA, PNAS, and AJPH, as well as been covered by national and international media outlets such as the Washington Post, NPR, and Time Magazine.

Dr. South has worked on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic as an emergency medicine physician. She has partnered with other Black physicians at Penn Medicine to address vaccine hesitation among Black staff and wrote about this in the LA Times. She recently wrote about her own vaccine hesitancy and decision to take the COVID-19 vaccine for NBC News. She has also worked with health system leaders and the Penn Center for Healthcare Innovation to design and implement community-based Covid-19 vaccine clinics.

Dr. South received her BA from Harvard University, her MD from Washington University School of Medicine in 2008, and her MSHP from the University of Pennsylvania in 2012, during which time she was also a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar.


Bridgette Brawner, PhD, APRN, MDiv

Associate Professor, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

Bridgette M. Brawner develops interventions for urban populations to improve family and community health and promote sexual health, such as preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Through her research, teaching, and community engagement, Dr. Brawner improves the health of historically underserved people and communities. She and her health disparities research team immerse themselves in Philadelphia’s neighborhoods. As a member of Penn Nursing’s Health Equity Collaborative, Dr. Brawner collaborates with interdisciplinary faculty across campus as well as at other academic and community institutions.


Alison Buttenheim, PhD, MBA

Director of Engagement, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics
Scientific Director, Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics
Associate Professor, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Associate Professor, Perelman School of Medicine

Alison M. Buttenheim, PhD, MBA, is a public health researcher and behavioral epidemiologist who combines her interest in behavioral economics with a focus on improving child health on a global level. Dr. Buttenheim is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Community Health at the Penn's School of Nursing and an Associate Professor in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at Penn's Perelman School of Medicine. She graduated magna cum laude from Yale University with a BA in History, earned an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and a PhD in Public Health from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she majored in Community Health Sciences and minored in Sociology/Demography. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Office of Population Research at Princeton University and was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at Penn.


Tarik S. Khan, MSN, RN, FNP-BC

Doctoral Student, School of Nursing

Tarik S. Khan is the President of the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association and a Philadelphia family nurse practitioner who serving on the frontlines of the pandemic while completing his Ph.D. in nursing at the University of Pennsylvania. Tarik lectures on primary care for patients with developmental disabilities and health policy advocacy at the School of Nursing and his current research focuses on improving health care outcomes for vulnerable populations. Tarik currently serves as Chairperson of Enabling Minds, a non-profit in Haiti that serves children with developmental disabilities. Tarik has won several awards for his advocacy, The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Influencers of Healthcare Award, Billy Penn’s Who’s Next: Community Leader Award, and a citation by The Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Tarik has provided his analysis on topics ranging from health disparities to political advocacy for media outlets ranging from BBC News, CNN, Politico, AM Joy, Healthline, and The Joe Madison Show on SiriusXM. He also a frequent guest on the local news to discuss issues around COVID-19.



Registration has closed.

Event Organizer

Nicky Agate
Making Black Lives Matter in Philadelphia: Perspectives from the Health Sciences