Hands Up, Don’t Shoot: Policing as a Public Health Crisis

Recent high profile deaths of unarmed people of color have gained widespread national attention, though negative encounters between police and the community are not a new trend. In addition to the acute impacts felt after the more extreme examples of lethal force, how does policing affect the long-term mental, physical, social and structural health and wellbeing of a community as a whole? Recent research aims to define the broader and more nuanced adverse effects that policing can have on population health. 

At this Science on Tap we will be joined by three experts for a panel discussion where we will examine questions such as: why does it matter if we define police interaction as a public health issue? Do the characteristics of a community affect how it is policed, or does the policing affect the community’s characteristics? (Or both?) What can be done to prevent negative outcomes related to policing? 

Dr. Maayan Simckes is an epidemiologist at the Washington State Department of Health. She completed her Masters in Public Health at the Saint Louis College for Public Health and Social Justice and her PhD at the University of Washington in Seattle. Maayan’s doctoral research examined the complex relationship between policing and population health. She is passionate about moving the field of public health toward more equitable and inclusive practices that promote social justice across policies, programs, and systems.

Dr. Sirry Alang is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Health, Medicine and Society at Lehigh University. Her most recent research examines how police brutality shapes health outcomes among communities disproportionately exposed to racialized policing. She frequently contributes to public dialogue on violent and racialized policing with some of her opinions published in media outlets such as the Salon, USA Today, and Union for Concerned Scientists.  

Dr. Hedwig Lee is a Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity at Washington University in St. Louis. She is broadly interested in the social determinants and consequences of population health and health disparities, with a particular focus on the role of structural racism in health inequality.

  • Event Date

    Thursday, September 30, 2021

  • Start Time

    7:00 pm Pacific

  • End Time

    8:30 pm Pacific

  • Tickets

    Ticket Price: $15 for VIP Supporter
    $5 for General Admission
    FREE tickets also available!

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  • Venue


  • Location

    This event will take place in a Zoom Webinar. Attendees will be able to participate in the chat and submit questions for the live online Q&A with the speaker.

    Attendees will not be visible or audible during the event.

    Register for Zoom event.

  • Available Food & Drink

    Grab an (adult) beverage of your choice and join us!
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