Social Justice Discussion Club

The Social Justice Discussion Club (SJDC) seeks to engage residents, fellows, and faculty across disciplines in conversation about social justice issues to learn, reflect, and build skills for promoting equity as physicians. Through timely popular multimedia sources including podcasts, longform essays, books, and films, SJDC provides a dedicated space for exploring modern issues in a historical context and through a multidisciplinary lens. The sessions explore issues of race, bias and prejudice, privilege, and community activism for the most vulnerable populations.

 

4

sessions in 2020-2021 

4

organizations that received donations from SJDC

 

133

multi-disciplinary attendees in 2020-2021

Who We Are

We are Sojung and Leanne, working with Drs. Bianca Argueza and Rosny Daniel of the Health Equity and Racial (HEAR) Justice Pathway, and Dr. Archna Eniasivam and Dr. Laura Rubinos, in the UCSF Department of Pediatrics.

The start of this group: We realized that our bookshelves and open tabs looked remarkably similar, and we both loved reading non-fiction books, watching documentaries and listening to podcasts on history, economics, and social justice topics. We had decided to start a book club amongst friends when, serendipitously, we had the opportunity to work on establishing a space as part of the multidisciplinary HEAR Justice program with a similar goal of building robust open and intentional discussions on a variety of social issues.

One of the goals of the Social Justice Discussion Club is to create an open community space where we can all feel comfortable asking tough questions, sharing opinions (whether or not we think that opinion is or is not the popular or majority one), grappling with different viewpoints and being open to learning and hearing each other out in a respectful manner.

Mission and Vision

SJDC seeks to engage members of the UCSF healthcare community across disciplines in conversation about social justice issues to learn, reflect, and build skills for promoting equity as healthcare providers. Through timely popular multimedia sources including podcasts, longform essays, books, and film, the SJDC provides a dedicated space for exploring modern issues in a historical context and through a multidisciplinary lens. We will explore issues of race, bias and prejudice, privilege, and community activism for the most vulnerable populations.

How It Works

We will be hosting a discussion every other month. Some meetings will also include a discussion with experts on the topic who will be able to provide more context to the discussion for a few minutes at the beginning of the meeting.

If you are interested in receiving information about the group, please sign up here. You will receive information about the media that the SJDC will be discussing with appropriate time for preparation (i.e. books may be announced with more leading time than a podcast), as well as details about the meetings themselves.

We are looking forward to learning more about organizations championing social justice issues in our area and leveraging our small but collective financial power to encourage action through thoughtful giving practices. In order to reserve your spot, we request a small fee of $5 that you can venmo beforehand. Please note: At the end of the meeting, we will group our participant reservation contributions to donate to an organization doing important work on that subject in our local community.

Once you have made your reservation, you will then receive separate, meeting-specific communication to receive details about the discussion topic, the event details, and the post-event summary email.

Past Sessions
Session 1 - Homelessness

Book: Evicted by Matthew Desmond

  • "In Evicted, Princeton sociologist and MacArthur “Genius” Matthew Desmond follows eight families in Milwaukee as they each struggle to keep a roof over their heads. Hailed as “wrenching and revelatory” (The Nation), “vivid and unsettling” (New York Review of Books), Evicted transforms our understanding of poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving one of twenty-first-century America’s most devastating problems. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible".

Articles:

Local organizations:

  • Coalition on Homeless is an activist group with the mission to create permanent solutions to homelessness, while working to protect the human rights of those forced to remain on the streets
  • Project Homeless Connect
  • Homeless Prenatal Program (many mothers who deliver at SFGH are discharged to their Jelani House)
  • Epiphany Center (residential treatment program with mothers struggling with substance use disorder - provides comprehensive services for both mother and baby - also one of the centers to which many SFGH patients are discharged

Donation:

thank you letter from donation to Larkin Street Youth

 

Session 2 - Immigration

Resources on Immigration:

Podcasts:

Articles:

Local organizations:

Volunteer Opportunities:

  • Catholic Charities Center for Immigration Legal and Support Services Volunteer Opportunities include: mentorship program, translating and interpreting services, resource research, and helping individuals write their stories (PDF attached)
  • Volunteer with the UCSF Human Rights Cooperative (HRC), which is a student-run organization that aims to provide forensic documentation of the physical and psychological manifestations of torture and ill-treatment experienced by individuals applying for asylum in the United States. The organization trains clinicians on how to perform forensic evaluations and thus help build a network of providers in the Bay Area. https://humanrights.ucsf.edu/hrc​​​​​​

Donation

 

Session 3 - Criminal Justice Reform

Resources for Criminal Justice Reform:

Books:

  • Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman Jr.

Articles:

Audio/visual media:

Local Organizations:

  • The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights is named after a brilliant, Black hero of the civil rights Freedom Movement who inspired and guided emerging leaders. The Center, based in Oakland, has formed unlikely coalitions and won positive change that breaks the cycle of disinvestment and incarceration in communities of color.
  • Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (LSPC) is one of the first organizations in the country that was formed to support all incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people and their families.
  • The Criminal Justice Program of the ACLU of Northern California seeks to dramatically reduce incarceration, criminalization, and police abuse by ending unjust and oppressive laws, policies, and practices that target and disproportionately harm Black, Brown, and other marginalized communities.

Donation:

Thank you to the participants of the session on Criminal Justice Reform for being a part of the $90 donation to The Transitions Clinic Network-- a national network of medical homes for individuals with chronic health conditions recently released from incarceration. Founded on the idea that the people closest to the problem are also closest to the solution, each clinic that adopts the TCN program employs a community health worker (CHW) with a history of incarceration as part of the clinical team. 

thank you letter from transitions clinic network for donation
Session 4 - Disability through a Social Justice Lens

Resources for Disability Visibility:

Books:

Articles:

Audio/visual media:

Donation:

Thank you to the participants of the session on Social Justice through a Disability Lens for being a part of the $150 donation to Disability Visibility Project -- a community partnership with StoryCorps and an online community dedicated to creating, sharing and amplifying disability media and culture.

donation receipt from Disability Visibility

 

$725

Donation serves as a way for us to act and give collectively to an organization that's doing work within the topic area that we're discussing/ exploring

Future Sessions
  • November 4, 2021 | 6:30-8:00pm | Reproductive Justice
Facilitating a Session

One of the aims of the Social Justice Discussion Club (SJDC) is to provide an opportunity to develop skills and gain experience in facilitating discussions on social justice issues. We have created resources to help with facilitating sessions and will provide assistance in preparing.

If you are interested in facilitating a session, please sign up here on a social justice topic area you might be interested in facilitating. We will reach out to you regarding determining the timing for the session.

Please note that you do not have to be an expert in the subject area. We will work with you to identify a guest speaker for the session, identify a medium for the session (such as podcast, book, article, song), and develop discussion questions.

Facilitator Discussion Guide: (please feel free to disseminate, citing source appropriately)

Please feel free to contact us with any topic suggestions for future sessions and/or comments regarding improving and/or further expanding the Social Justice Discussion Club (SJDC).