Graham School Events

A Roundtable Discussion Series @Graham | Pandemic Effects: Local and Global Perspectives


Online via Zoom

COIVID-19 virus on dark grey background

Photo courtesy of The University of Chicago Medicine

In this far-reaching roundtable, we consider the pandemic locally and globally, particularly with regards to mental health and public health. What challenges have the social, environmental, ethical, and political landscape posed to managing and combatting the pandemic, here and abroad?  What sort of psychological toll has the pandemic taken on various groups, such as Black youth in the United States, in the context of civil unrest and anti-racist protests?  How do people, in this country and elsewhere, manage the responsibilities and strains of living in multigenerational homes, and the attendant risks of transmission to older, more vulnerable generations?

This roundtable features Dr. Sonya Dinizulu and Dr. Sola Olopade. Dr. Dinizulu is a pediatric clinical psychologist whose practice includes working with young people from under resourced communities. She has published on the psychological distress caused by violence. Through research and counseling, she also promotes resilience among Black youth. Dr. Olopade is a pulmonologist with expertise in asthma and other lung diseases. He is interested in global, comparative perspectives on disease treatments and outcomes, an agenda he has pursued with particular focus on Nigeria—a country that fared comparatively early in the pandemic but is going through a difficult second wave.  

The roundtable consists of one hour of panel discussion, followed by thirty minutes of question and answer with the audience. It will be moderated by Dr. Doriane Miller and Professor Emily Lynn Osborn

Watch the recording

Background Reading and Viewing:

See rates of infection throughout the United States and the globe: Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center

“After Battling Civil Unrest and COVID-19, South Shore Looks Ahead to 2021,” Chicago Tonight, WTTW, 23 December 2020. 

Aryn Baker, “Why Africa's COVID-19 Outbreak Hasn't Been as Bad as Everyone Feared,” TIME Magazine, 30 December 2020. 

Merill Singer, Pamela Erickson,  et al., “Syndemics, sex and the city: Understanding sexually transmitted diseases in social and cultural context,” Social Science & Medicine, Vol. 63, October 2006, 2010-2021.

Tonia Poteat, Gregorio Millett, et al., “Understanding COVID-19 risks and vulnerabilities among black communities in America: the lethal force of syndemics” Annals of Epidemiology,  Vol 47, July 2020, 1-3.

Speaker Bios:

Dr. Sonya Dinizulu is an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry and Behavior Neuroscience. She is a clinical psychologist who specializes in working with children, adolescents, young adults, and families exposed to trauma and violence. She provides trauma-informed and trauma responsive services using a socio-ecological and social justice lens, particularly for marginalized and underserved youth facing chronic stressors, such as community violence. Her research focuses on identifying risk and protective factors, and development of innovative community-based service delivery models to promote mental health, resilience and positive youth development for children and adolescents exposed to trauma and violence.  

Dr. Sola Olopade is Professor of Medicine and Dean for Academic affairs. He is a pulmonologist with expertise and clinical interests in asthma, chronic obstructive lung diseases. He has conducted research on determining appropriate or best practices for asthma management. He discovered that transitioning pregnant women to clean-burning ethanol fuel for cooking, instead of dirty-burning biomass or kerosene, reduced levels of household air pollution and yielded significant benefits for the women's health and the health and development of their babies. For one half of the world’s population—the energy poor—his research reveals a ready pathway toward significant gains in health and well-being, through use of clean fuels for cooking.


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