Keynote

Wednesday, September 21 | 1:30 – 2:45 p.m. ET

Coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic is the alarming rise of homicides nationwide, particularly in poor urban neighborhoods where victims are primarily Black or Hispanic. Dr. Deborah Prothrow-Stith, Dean and Professor at the Charles R. Drew University College of Medicine, pioneered efforts to define youth violence as a public health problem, not just a criminal justice issue. She developed The Violence Prevention Curriculum for Adolescents, a forerunner of violence prevention curricula for schools and authored or co-authored numerous texts on the subject. In this keynote address, Dr. Prothrow-Stith will share lessons learned in her 40+ years of violence prevention and discuss how the pandemic combined with police violence, systemic racism, and barriers to mental health care have taken their toll, and how violent crime is not equally distributed across the United States.

Deborah Prothrow-Stith, M.D.

Dr. Deborah Prothrow-Stith is Dean and Professor at the Charles R. Drew University College of Medicine. She advised top-tier healthcare institutions on leadership as a principal at Spencer Stuart and served as the Henry Pickering Walcott Professor of Public Health Practice and Associate Dean for Diversity at Harvard School of Public Health where she created the Division of Public Health Practice and secured over $14 million in grant funding for health programs. While working in inner-city Boston, she broke new ground with efforts to define youth violence as a health problem. She developed The Violence Prevention Curriculum for Adolescents, a forerunner of violence prevention curricula for schools and authored or co-authored Deadly Consequences (HarperCollins 1991); Murder Is No Accident (Jossey Bass Publishers, 2004); Sugar and Spice and No Longer Nice, (Jossey Bass Publishers, 2005); a high school textbook, Health (Pearson 2014); and over 100 articles. In 1987, Governor Michael Dukakis appointed her Commissioner of Public Health for Massachusetts where she led a department with 3,500 employees, 8 hospitals and a budget of $350 million. She and her family lived in Tanzania during her husband’s tenure as U.S. Ambassador. Dr. Prothrow-Stith is a graduate of Spelman College and Harvard Medical School and a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine. In 2003, she was elected to the prestigious National Academy of Medicine. She has received ten honorary doctorates and in 2017, she was named Woman of the Year for the 2nd District by the LA County Board of Supervisors.