A Basic Narrative Medicine Workshop

April 7 - 9, 2017

Please email Cindy Smalletz at to be added to the wait list

The Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University will hold a Narrative Medicine Basic Workshop called “Race | Violence | Justice: The Need for Narrative” on April 7-9, 2017 at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. We live in an increasingly polarized society with exceedingly complex and pressing issues facing health care, including class and race-based health disparities, unequal access to health care, and the increasing toll of gun violence against persons of color. Rigorous narrative work may reveal a path through intensely divided positions on these issues toward a place of productive understanding.

Our signature methods of close reading, attentive listening, and perspectival respect hold out possibilities for reciprocal understanding, even in the face of deep divisions. Together, we will use narrative methods to bridge divides and catalyze action.

As a professor of urban policy and health, Mindy Fullilove will speak on seeing "serial forced displacement" in our narratives. George Yancy will explore the response to his New York Times "Dear White America” letter and will suggest necessary counter-narratives in the context of thinking about Black bodies. Topher Sanders, an investigative reporter, will speak about the response to his article "'Only White People,' said the little girl," and the difficult balance of raising black children who are aware and perceptive, yet still open-minded to the goodness of people around them. Sayantani DasGupta will address visionary medicine: racial justice, health and the need for radical imagination.

We invite public health activists, community leaders, social activists, police officers, legal/philosophical scholars, nurses, therapists, physicians, dentists, chaplains, and other clinicians to extend their expertise and contribute to this conversation of pressing importance.

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For questions, please contact Cindy Smalletz: