Decolonizing Global Health Seminar focuses on public health

Cropped globe on a table

The seminar will be presented by Zimbabwean epidemiologist Rene Loewenson. It will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 19 from 1 to 2 p.m. and is part of the Dahdaleh Institute’s Decolonizing Global Health Research Seminar Series.

Rene Loewenson

Loewenson, who is the director of the Training and Research Support Centre, a non-profit centre headquartered in Zimbabwe, will address the series’ key themes, which are the different, convergent and contesting paradigms that are shaping ideas and action in public health. The seminar draws from different geopolitical regions and examines implications for health systems.

In this seminar, Loewenson will critically review how these different paradigms have been expressed and how dominance has been asserted in colonial, neo-colonial and global systems affecting public health, including in the response to COVID. The pandemic has exposed a response that draws on different forms of power to sustain long-standing structural drivers of multiple crises affecting health, despite intensifying these drivers. Loewenson’s presentation will explore dimensions of countervailing power that challenge this hegemony and promote comprehensive, justice-driven, holistic approaches in public health and the implications for sites of action. The seminar will be presented over Zoom. Register here.

Loewenson coordinates the Southern African Network on Equity in Health (EQUINET), which carries out research, capacity support and policy dialogue within professional, civil society, state, and academic institutions. An epidemiologist by profession, Loewenson has worked in public health, occupational health and the political economy of health and employment, particularly in Southern Africa.

Over the past year, the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research has hosted a series of conversations as part of its Decolonizing Global Health Research seminar series. The series emphasizes the need and commitment to decolonize global health and address racial inequality in and through the research. The conversations foster understanding of methodologies, collaborations and actions that centre on decolonial and intersectional lenses.

Previous seminars have addressed decolonizing the dialogue on climate change, auto-ethnography as decolonial methodology, decolonizing health crisis response using community first solutions, community research partnerships, and decolonizing planetary health through the lens of Indigenous youth.