SMNR: Health Justice, Race, and COVID-19

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
MON 4:15 - 6:13 pm ONLINE

Evaluation Method

Type Date Time Location


This course will be taught entirely online via Zoom.

With continuing demonstrations against police brutality and racial injustice, as well as a global pandemic, 2020 has highlighted many of the pervasive, structural issues that drive health disparities and poor health outcomes. Individually and systemically, correcting these inequities depends on addressing what are frequently called the “social determinants of health”—that is, how the socioeconomic conditions in which we live, grow, work, worship, play, and age affect health and well-being. Key to understanding these risk factors is understanding the ways that law perpetuates or exacerbates the social conditions that lead to disparate outcomes and opportunities.

This class will explore COVID-19 through a health justice lens shaped by the medical-legal partnership model and with express acknowledgment of the legacy of race-based policymaking on health and well-being. Using interactive lectures, case studies, and simulations, students will learn to recognize and begin to collaboratively consider the relationship among medicine, law, and wellness. Through such topics as income and generational wealth, housing and utilities, education and employment, legal status, and familial stability, we will consider how law impacts health, and how lawyers and health care providers can jointly engage in creative problem-solving.

The class takes an interdisciplinary, inter-professional approach, making it valuable to law students and students in social work, nursing, pharmacy, public affairs, business, and medicine.

Textbooks ( * denotes required )

Essentials of Health Justice *
Teitelbaum, Joel B., Tobin-Tyler, Elizabeth
Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC
ISBN: 978-1-284-15207-4


Headshot of Sage, William M Sage, William M
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Important Class Changes

Date Updated
11/10/2020 Course is cross listed