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VCU and VCU Health to screen ‘Color of Care’ documentary

The Color of Care Graphic

The VCU Office of Health Equity, in collaboration with VCU Health and the VCU School of Dentistry, will host “The Color of Care” film screening on Tuesday, Sept. 27 from 4-7 p.m., at the Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) at the Markel Center.

“The Color of Care,” a documentary executive produced by Oprah Winfrey, explores how people of color suffer from systemic racism and substandard health care in the United States and how COVID-19 has exposed the tragic consequences of this inequity.

“This is a powerful documentary that traces the origins of racial health disparities to practices that began during slavery in the U.S. and continue today, said Marcelle Davis, Ph.D., vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion at VCU Health. ”It is my hope that we can use this as a tool to understand that health disparities could mean life or death for some patients — and with that understanding comes the realization that there is a need for equity champions who can serve as change agents to eliminate inequities.”

The documentary is centered around interviews with families of color who lost loved ones to COVID-19. Each interview details the experiences their family members faced trying to access care before they died.

“It is easy to focus on the numbers and statistics related to the pandemic but what often gets lost are the stories of the people who have been impacted by this virus,” said Sheryl Garland, chief of health impact at VCU Health and executive director of the VCU Office of Health Equity. “It is so important to pause and reflect on the lives that have been forever changed by COVID-19. We should never forget the people and families who have suffered immense loss and devastation because of the pandemic. If nothing else, viewing this documentary gives us an opportunity to just shed some tears and acknowledge the real impact of the events of the past two-and-a-half years.”

As a part of the documentary screening, the event will include a panel discussion led by Carlos Smith, D.D.S., director, diversity, ethics and inclusion at the VCU School of Dentistry. Panel participants include:

  • Kimberly Nichele Brown, Ph.D., associate professor of gender, sexuality and Women’s Studies at VCU.
  • David A. Lanning, M.D., Ph.D., professor of surgery and pediatrics in the VCU School of Medicine, the interim chief medical officer for the VCU Medical Center, and co-surgeon-in-chief for the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU.
  • Melissa Viray, M.D., acting director for the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts.
  • Kathy White, VCU Health System patient and clinical trials participant.

This event is free and open to the public. However, RSVP is required. To learn more about the documentary and to register for the event, please visit https://ocpe.vcu.edu/inaugural-symposium/screening.html.