Adopting human rights law as a rubric for allocating COVID-19 vaccines

As governments around the world grapple with how to fairly allocate COVID-19 vaccines for maximum protection against the pandemic, an international research team [including Dr. Maxwell Smith] proposes that existing human rights law should act as a guide for politicians and policymakers.

Read the full story in Western News.

Maxwell Smith was also interviewed on CBC London Morning about Ensuring ethical access to vaccines

What is Justice?: Contemporary Perspectives on Global Feminisms

Vivetha Thambinathan (PhD candidate, Health Professional Education, Western University) will participate as a panelist in What is Justice?: Contemporary Perspectives on Global Feminisms on Wednesday, Mar 10, 2021 at 12:30 PM EST.

Join the Pitt Global Hub for a special panel discussion in honor of International Womxn’s Day 2021. Our panelists will speak about the topic of “justice” in the current socio-political climate, covering issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic, anti-Blackness, fascism, socio-political unrest, and more from an intersectional feminist perspective. Panelists will speak from their personal experiences in addition to their research expertise in regions around the world.

More details and registration.

Read more: Vivetha Thambinathan’s recent letter to the editor in the Western Gazette.

COVID19 Research: Knowledge Mobilization Opportunities

The team at Western University’s Lab for Knowledge Translation in Health is sharing two opportunities for research teams working on pandemic related projects:

  1. Call for papers: We are coordinating a special issue on Public Health & Digital Technologies during a Pandemic”in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Topic areas are detailed in this call for papers. Submission Deadline: June 15, 2021.
  2. Connect with community leaders & decision-makers: We are meeting with researchers working on COVID-related projects to identify opportunities for co-producing knowledge mobilization experiences. Connect with us to learn more here.

As we enter the second year of pandemic response, researchers are vital in helping us learn in real-time. You can learn more about both opportunities in our latest blog post.

Digital Policing: A Workshop on Facial Recognition Software and Community Resistance

Panel Discussion: Feb 25, 2021 07:00 PM Register

Workshop: Feb 26, 2021 11:00 AM Register

The second event in the Big Data at the Margins series examines how the digitization and datafication of the criminal Justice system has intersected with the development and deployment of AI-driven technologies like facial recognition and predictive policing. Police forces in Canada have been eager to use facial recognition to identify and arrest, raising major concerns surrounding data privacy and the civil rights of the accused. Civil society activists ranging from the Water Protectors of Standing Rock to the Black Lives Matter activists of this past summer’s uprisings against policy brutality and the carceral have been similarly targeted for FRT surveillance by law enforcement authorities. And algorithms used in the US criminal justice system to predict recidivism have drawn international condemnation for their potential for bias against Black defendants. This intensification of policing via digital tools has been met by stiff resistance by communities across North America, calling not only for many of these technologies to be banned, but also for the broader dismantling of the irredeemably racist elements of the carceral state.

Critically Examining Decolonization: The Field of Global Health

Sat, February 20, 2021
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM EST
Register via Eventbrite

Recently, the term decolonization has become widespread. Yet, with its widespread use, there is a worry that the term has been simplified and diluted, devoid of critical examination, introspection and discomfort. In fact, using decolonization as a metaphor can result in evasive practices focused on absolving settler guilt, rather than repatriation. The central questions we wish to interrogate are: Who can speak of decolonization? How do we view decolonization as a constant framework of unlearning and learning? How can we create community spaces for the necessary discomfort and interrogative process that decolonization requires?