The Evergreen Museum & Library has partnered with other parts of Johns Hopkins University to hold a free, virtual lecture about urban issues on Nov. 18 from 2 to 4 p.m. Image courtesy of Evergreen Museum & Library.

The Evergreen Museum & Library has partnered with other parts of Johns Hopkins University to revive a lecture on women’s health and urban issues that was last held in 2012.

Deborah Gross, a psychiatric and mental health nursing professor at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, will moderate a discussion about women’s health in Baltimore with three panelists: Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa; Dr. Kamila A. Alexander, an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing; and China Boak Terrell, CEO of American Communities Trust, a 501c3 public charity focused on creating inclusive economic development projects for low-income residents.

The virtual lecture will be held on Nov. 18 from 2 to 4 p.m. The event is free, but audience members are encouraged to register ahead of time.

Gross, Dzirasa, Alexander and Terrell will talk about the pandemic’s impact, the future of reproductive rights, and the effects of environmental racism. An audience Q&A will follow the discussion.

Philanthropist Alice Warder Garrett conceived the idea for the first symposium, which took place in 1943. Since then, eight other symposia have occurred, and next Wednesday will see the 10th Garrett Lecture on Urban Issues.

As Maryland contends with its eighth month of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, “it seemed fitting to look at issues of health,” Dr. Lori Beth Finkelstein, director and curator of
The Evergreen Museum & Library, said in a statement.

Finkelstein added that 2020 is significant for other reasons, including the fact that this year marks the centennial of the ratification of the 19th amendment. In commemoration of that milestone, Evergreen and Hopkins wanted the lecture to highlight ongoing struggles for equity.

“With 2020 marking a century since the ratification of the 19th amendment, it also seemed appropriate to ask if women’s increased political power has resulted in a commensurate increase in access to health care, and if not, why not?” she said.

M. Bess Vincent, the Assistant Dean for Strategic Initiatives at the JHU’s Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, has spearheaded the university’s commemoration of the 19th amendment.

Vincent drew a connection between women’s voting rights and their access to health care.

“When we take an intersectional approach to studying history, we realize that access to voting rights has been very uneven, especially for Black women,” Vincent said in a statement. “Intersectionality also proves useful when studying women’s health outcomes, illuminating aspects of our society where inequalities and injustices persist.”

Addressing health disparities determines whether and how a city will succeed or fail, said Mac McComas, senior program manager of the 21st Century Cities Initiative at JHU.

“For cities to succeed in the 21st century, they need to provide high quality of life and equal
access to services and amenities for all people,” McComas said. “Highlighting the unique challenges that women face in accessing healthcare and the excellent work being done in Baltimore to address those challenges is key to moving evidence-based policy solutions forward.”

The Evergreen Museum & Library partnered with Johns Hopkins University’s 21st Century Cities Initiative, the Johns Hopkins University’s Women’s Suffrage Centennial, and the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing for the event. The lecture is made possible by The Evergreen House Foundation.

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Marcus Dieterle

Marcus Dieterle is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. He returned to Baltimore in 2020 after working as the deputy editor of the Cecil Whig newspaper in Elkton, Md. He can be reached at