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Moving Beyond Repair will bring together voices from academic, social services, healthcare, policy and individuals with lived experiences to enable a holistic examination of the following areas of focus:

Intertwined IconIntertwining Grassroots & Policy

We will examine the role of community-based initiatives within past crises that have catalyzed policy change at local, national, and international levels, and extend the lessons learned to current public health emergencies. We recognize that grassroots movements are key to the development of sustainable health action. The conference will focus on different forms of grassroots movements, and how to work and learn from communities in reciprocal relationships to navigate the socio-political and health system to enact lasting policy-level change.

Innovative Perspectives IconInnovative & Sustainable Perspectives

This conference will transcend conventional approaches to public health crises and delve into innovative and unique responses to deepening and unfolding concerns. Health emergencies can generate new-found support for previously dismissed ideas. For instance, the implementation of safe injection sites in the opioid crisis and the transition to quality virtual care in the time of a global pandemic will have lasting impacts on accessibility of care. Conference proceedings will emphasize how the development and implementation of novel ideas can improve the well-being and health of all. These innovations will need to ensure equitable access, for example incorporate the use of assistive, accessible, and affordable technology in the massive shift towards online services and programs.

Community Resiliency

We will explore the concept of community resiliency during the COVID-19 pandemic and other public health crises. This will include discussions of adaptability, community action, preparedness, and unity. These ideas will be analyzed through the history of the community, current context, and the use of available resources to retain community ideals and identity through changing circumstances. As a result, emphasis will be placed on assessing the reasons communities need to fill gaps in overarching systems to maintain their wellbeing. Discussions can include concepts such as the development of “CareMongering” Facebook groups amidst the COVID-19 pandemic creating a system of resource-sharing and assistance by community members to support each other to ensure everyone’s needs are met.

Data IconThe Politics of Data

We will explore how individuals and groups perceive and engage with the concept of health datafication, the process of translating an individual’s health information into usable data, including the collection, access, and use of data during public health emergencies. This includes open data, such as the Ontario government’s daily update of confirmed COVID-19 cases, which allows researchers to create lists, maps, and tables to track the disease. Datafication also includes balances between privacy and data collecting methods, which will be explored through such topics as voluntary and involuntary contact tracing and the various implementations of mobile contact tracing in different jurisdictions. Recognizing that data can be misinterpreted and misused, emphasis will be placed on the importance of transparency, data literacy, race-based data collection, data sovereignty, and accountability.

Contact information:

For questions and feedback regarding the Dalla Lana School of Public Health’s Student-Led Conference, please contact: slc.dlsph@utoronto.ca