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GCPH Seminar Series 15: Lecture 4 - Prof Laura Serrant, OBE

17 Apr 2019, 4.30pm - 6.00pm

St Andrew's in the Square, 1 St Andrew's Square, Calton, Glasgow, G1 5PP, United Kingdom


From silence to speaking: on silences, health and the importance of being heard

The scale and impact of health inequalities in Scotland is well understood: the gaps in healthy life expectancy between our communities are unjust and avoidable. Much of the work on health inequalities has tended to focus on socio-economic circumstances as a fundamental cause. However a wide range of social circumstances impact on health, including visible identities and the impact of prejudice and discrimination.

In this seminar, Professor Laura Serrant explored the issue of health inequalities though the lens of race and inter-sectional identities. She drew on both her personal and professional experience as a Black practitioner to explore why the experiences of some groups and individuals are missing from health research, professional leadership and service development. She used her considerable experience to explore the importance of breaking Silences to develop our understanding and ask whether we need to reflect more on our own identities as part of our practice, as well as that of our communities.

The everyday experiences of racism can impact on the health and wellbeing of those racialised. It is important that policymakers, researchers, service-planners and employers acknowledge the need for a deeper understanding of what is required by organisations in order to serve diverse perspectives in our systems of healthcare.

IMG 9923 Laura Serrant

About the speaker

Prof Laura Serrant OBE 

Professor of Community and Public Health Nursing, Manchester Metropolitan University

Professor Serrant's research interests relate to community and public health, specifically health disparities and the needs of marginalised and ‘seldom heard’ communities. She has frequently found herself as the sole voice representing nurses and minority communities; a position which she has striven to challenge throughout her career by empowering others to come forward to join her, in a unique call to 'lift as you climb'. She has developed and published a new theoretical framework for conducting research in this area of work ‘The Silences Framework’ (Serrant-Green 2010). She has extensive experience in national and international health policy development with particular specialist input on racial and ethnic inequalities and cultural safety. She received an OBE for services to Nursing and Health Policy in 2018 and in 2017 was listed 8th in the Powerlist Top 100 most influential Black people in Britain.

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