This application is in response to PA-10-071 - NIH Support for Conference and Scientific Meetings (Parent R13/U13). We are seeking grant funding under the R13 mechanism to convene a conference titled "International Conference on Health in the African Diaspora of the Americas (ICHAD)." The ICHAD conference will be held July 4-8, 2012 in Baltimore, MD. The goal of the conference is to provide an international platform for scholars to exchange knowledge about solutions to major health challenges, including health disparities, facing black populations in the Western Hemisphere. We have received grant support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which covers most of the conference costs. We are now seeking support from NIMHD to cover language translation services to facilitate access to Spanish-speaking and Portuguese-speaking attendees. Between the 1600s and the 1800s, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade gave rise to a large African Diaspora throughout the Americas and the Caribbean. Today there are approximately 60 million African descendants living in the Western Hemisphere. They share a common history of forced migration and subjugation, but the different cultural and historical contexts of the countries in which they have settled have forged divergent social and cultural experiences. There is only limited understanding of what these commonalities and differences have produced in terms of health and social status. Some countries - such as the United States, Canada and Brazil - have produced a significant volume of research documenting striking race disparities. However, in other counties - such as Honduras and Colombia - research on race disparities is in the early stages. With support from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, staff of the NIMHD-funded Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions (HCHDS) has been working to identify researchers throughout the Western Hemisphere who are conducting research on health disparities among African descent populations. We now propose to convene these colleagues to share research findings and solutions to health disparities among African descent populations of the Americans. The proposed conference will support the following aims: 1. To explore and describe the health status of the African descent populations of the Western Hemisphere;2. To identify differences and commonalities in how "race" is conceptualized throughout the region and describe how the different conceptualizations of "race" influence how we understand health and health disparities in black populations;3. To identify differences and commonalities in the social and historical experiences of black populations in the region and describe how these differences contribute to variations in health status and health care among black subgroups;4. To describe the phenomenon of racial disparities in health in the Western Hemisphere and identify possible causes for these disparities and potential areas for intervention;5. To identify areas of promising research and intervention which can inform future research on health disparities in the U.S. and elsewhere;and 6. To establish an ongoing, multidisciplinary network of scholars to undertake future investigations of black health status in the region.
We are seeking support to establish an international network of scholars, health workers and community activists to advance the health of the African Diaspora. The network will facilitate the transnational sharing of solutions to addressing the common health problems of the African descent population. We will do this by (1) coordinating a biannual conference, (2) publishing a book which outlines the health status and solutions of health inequities and (3) maintain a website to facilitate ongoing communication between biannual conferences. The first conference will be held in October 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. Subsequent conferences will be held in other regions of the world.