Welcome to the Health Equity Institute's first eUpdate. Thank you for your support!



Jessica Wolin and students highlighted for HOPE SF Collaboration
HEI's Jessica Wolin and SF State's Master of Public Health Students (MPH) were highlighted for the Health Equity for HOPE SF Collaboration. The project is a partnership between HEI, SF State Department of Health Education, the San Francisco Department of Public Health and HOPE SF, an affordable housing initiative, led by the San Francisco Mayor's office. 

Dr. Laura Mamo published in Journal of Medical Humanities 

Dr. Laura Mamo was published in the March 2013 edition of 
Journal of Medical Humanities for her article Queering the Fertility Clinic.

Drs. Cynthia Gomez and Dellanira Garcia published in American Psychologist 

Drs. Cynthia Gomez and Dellanira Valencia-Garcia were published in the May 2013 edition of American Psychologist for their work on the article The intersection of gender and ethnicity in HIV risk, interventions, and prevention: New frontiers for psychology. 

BANPH Team presented at HIV Treatment and Prevention Adherence Conference

The Bay Area Network for Positive Health (BANPH) team presented a poster on their findings at the 8th International Conference on HIV Treatment and Prevention Adherence. The conference took place June 2-4 in Miami.
Community Briefs
HEI is proud to announce our first Community Brief is now available.  Community briefs bring our research findings back to the communities. Through the information in the briefs, communities can decide how best to engage individuals and work with each other on a variety of health and social justice issues. The first brief is on Project BANPH, Bay Area Network for Positive Health

Stay up-to-date on more
news and events at our website.


There is no day but today to join together to create a society that can provide the best science, environments, services and policies to protect the health of all people.

Our team at the Health Equity Institute is dedicated to the study of health and health disparities through interdisciplinary research that includes basic, clinical, behavioral and social sciences; and critical contributions from humanities and the arts – all represented at
San Francisco State University (SF State). We are actively engaged in training and educational activities that lead to a skilled and diverse workforce in the health professions. We partner with communities and organizations to address the local priorities in research, evaluation, practice and policies. Learn more about us by visiting our website.

We are excited to be sending out our first eUpdate. We will be sending these out quarterly with updates about our work, events, and other items we want to share with our supporters.  As we state on our website, we welcome you to partner with us, dialogue with us, and make use of our resources.  Expanding Virgil’s position– “there is no greater wealth than health” – there is no greater wealth than the health of our collective societies.

Help us make this true for all people.



                                                                                                                 Cynthia Gomez Signature

    Cynthia A. Gómez
       HEI Founding Director 

New book by Dr. Sonja Mackenzie available now!

One of the most urgent social problems in contemporary America is the continuing HIV epidemic among Blacks. Fully one in 16 Black men and one in 32 Black women will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime. These overwhelming figures are not new, nor are they inevitable. Structural Intimacies: Sexual Stories in the Black AIDS Epidemic, a new book by Dr. Sonja Mackenzie, Health Equity Institute faculty, gives a voice to the men and women behind these statistics and aims to shed light on this serious public health concern. 

The book argues that structural inequalities are central not just to the dramatic and disproportionate spread of HIV in Black communities in the U.S., but also to the production of Black sexualities. Dr. Mackenzie presents an elegant argument that, in an era of deepening medicalization of HIV/AIDS, public health must move beyond individual-level interventions to community-level health equity frames and policy change. The book was published by 
Rutgers Press on June 6th, 2013. Like the Facebook page and read the full Press Release.

mHealth-Enabled Youth Initiatives

Enhancing Tribal Health and Food Security in the Klamath Basin of Oregon and California through a Regional Food Security System is a multi-disciplinary partnership from agronomy, biology, social science, public health, informatics and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) using an action-research approach. The long-term goal of the partnership is to develop a sustainable regional food system in the Klamath Basin that results in healthy communities, healthy ecosystems and healthy economies among the Karuk, Yurok and Klamath Indian Tribes. One part of meeting this goal is researching and understanding the determinants of sustainable healthy food systems. The HEI team at SF State will contribute to this goal by leading 2 mHealth-Enabled Youth Initiatives working with the Karuk Youth Leadership Council (KYLC). KYLC members will receive three trainings from the HEI team to help them design and implement a youth led community food and health assessment and health intervention using mobile technology. The project will give youth an opportunity to create solutions for healthier communities. Learn more about the project and what they have achieved so far. 

Documentary Photo

Documentary for Health and Social Justice Spring 2013 Screening

Each semester, four student teams made up of Cinema and Health Education majors work together to create a film on a different issue in the Documentary for Health and Social Justice course at SF State. On May 22nd, SF State students screened their final films for the first time. All of the films were powerful and the audience felt moved and inspired by the messages throughout. The films included:

GENDER SILENCE lifts up and celebrates the lives of transgender men and women.

THE NET shares the stories and advocacy efforts of parents who have lost a child to suicide from the Golden Gate Bridge.

$Hift advocates for divestment in fossil fuels to protect our planet.

BRILLANCE investigates alternative pedagogical methods for evaluating student, teacher and school performance. 

The course is offered by the Health Equity Institute and Cinema department at SF State University each semester. 
The Spring 2013 films will be up on the web soon so be sure to look out on our website for that announcement. To watch past films, including the Fall 2012 documentaries, visit our website or our Youtube page.

Laura Mamo

Beyond Bullying is looking at shifting the discourse of LGBTQ Sexuality and Youth in Schools

Beyond Bullying project is a collaboration among SF State, York, and Columbia University along with other community partners such as SIECUS (Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States) and other university, school, and strategic communications partners.  HEI's Dr. Laura Mamo and Dr. Jessica Fields from Center for Research and Education on Gender and Sexuality (CREGS) are co-leading the SF State effort. 
Beyond Bullying aims to investigate and expand the terms of cultural recognition and social belonging surrounding lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) sexuality and youth in U.S. schools by shifting the focus from individual bullied youth to generative notions of LGBTQ lived experiences, knowledge, affects, and rights communicated through interactive, multimedia storytelling.  

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