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Hot Topics — Addressing Racism and COVID-19

June 30, 2020 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm


New data confirm that COVID-19 is disproportionately and negatively impacting communities of color and exacerbating existing health inequities.

In the June session of Hot Topics in Practice, Matías Valenzuela, Equity Director, Public Health – Seattle & King County and Director of COVID-19 Community Mitigation and Recovery, shares his team’s efforts to uncover the root causes of these inequities and offers strategies for dismantling racism and supporting health in these times.

Matías will begin with a brief history of the health equity work at King County that has laid the foundation for their COVID-19 response. He will then discuss elements of their COVID-19 response that make it unique from previous emergency preparedness efforts, sharing new data and tools that support this work. The presentation will close with a conversation about the ways public health agencies can improve their systems and services to address structural racism and strengthen resilience in marginalized communities.

Register today and join the discussion to center equity as this pandemic evolves.

Photo by Joan Villalon on Unsplash.

Matías Valenzuela, PhD
Equity Director, Public Health – Seattle & King County
Matías Valenzuela, PhD, is the Equity Director for Public Health – Seattle & King County. For the COVID-19 response, he is the Director of Community Mitigation and Recovery. Previously, he founded and directed the Office of Equity and Social Justice in King County, spearheading efforts to address the root causes of inequities, especially racism over a five-year period, working with all county agencies and the community. Matias has worked at King County since late 2000, including as a lead for Equity and Social Justice since its inception in early 2008. Previously in his career, he was a print and broadcast journalist in the United States and abroad. He has been a Fulbright professor in Nicaragua, and is an Affiliate Assistant Professor at the University of Washington’s School of Public Health and Community Medicine.


June 30, 2020
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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