Thursday, October 24, 2019
A national expert on health equity and social determinants of health, Michael A. Rodríguez, M.D., professor and vice chair in the departments of family medicine and community health sciences at UCLA Medical School, will address how healthcare, poverty, and other equity-related issues are impacted by social and economic forces and, in particular, how these affect Latino communities in the state and nation.
Michael A. Rodríguez is professor and vice chair in the UCLA Departments of Family Medicine and Community Health Sciences; he is also the founding director of the Health Equity Network of the Americas and founding chair of the UCLA Minor in Global Health.
His research activities focus on health equity and social determinants of health. He is a leading researcher and policy expert in the areas of intimate partner violence, social cohesion, quality of health care and health for immigrants and other groups across the age spectrum. He has published widely and consulted for the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the Pan American Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Institute of Medicine. He is also a board member for the Blue Shield of California Foundation and Latino Coalition for a Healthy California.
Rodríguez is currently investigator of a NIH-funded project examining how state-level policies for immigrants impact their health and access to health care. He is also co-principal investigator for the UCLA University of California Firearm Violence Prevention Center.
Rodríguez completed his undergraduate training at the University of California, Berkeley, attended medical school at UCLA, and completed his residency at the University of California, San Francisco. He obtained his master’s in public health from the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health and was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the Stanford-UCSF Program.
Vivek Maru, founder of Namati which strives to lead innovations in legal empowerment, will describe the efforts of people directly affected by environmental destruction—small hold farmers in Sierra Leone, fisher people on the coast of India, families in an industrial zone of Baltimore—to exercise their rights. Offering lessons about law, power, and institutions that emerge from this work, he will weave a story about how these struggles are connected to each other, and to all of us.
Vivek Maru founded Namati in 2011 to grow the movement for legal empowerment around the world. Namati and its partners have supported cadres of grassroots legal advocates – sometimes known as “barefoot lawyers”– in ten countries. These advocates work with vulnerable people to protect community lands, enforce environmental law, and secure basic rights to healthcare and citizenship.
Namati convenes the Global Legal Empowerment Network, more than 2,000 groups from 160 countries who are learning from one another and collaborating on common challenges. This community successfully advocated for the inclusion of access to justice in the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
Maru is co-author of Community Paralegals and the Pursuit of Justice (Cambridge University Press). His TED talk, How to Put the Power of Law in People’s Hands, has been viewed over a million times.