Physicians for Human Rights National Student Conference

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Join us for the PHR National Student Conference to learn about and discuss critical human rights issues in the age of the pandemic!

About this Event

In this year's virtual format, we will be covering a broad range of topics related to COVID-19's impact on vulnerable populations. We focus on the pandemic's accentuation and exposure of existing disparities in America and throughout the world.

We hope that this conference can serve to deepen our collective human rights knowledge and teach us about what we can all do to advocate for the most vulnerable populations among us.


4pm-5pm: Poster Session: Learn about student research!

5pm-6pm: COVID-19, healthcare, and social disparities in the age of the pandemic

  • Discussion with Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, physician, epidemiologist, progressive activist, educator, author, podcast host, political contributor at CNN; moderated by Dr. Victoria Frye, DrPH, Associate Medical Professor, Department of Community Health and Social Medicine at CSOM

6pm-7pm: COVID-19's Impact on Children and the Role of Student Advocacy

  • by Dr. Katherine Peeler, MD, pediatric critical care physician at Boston Children’s and medical director of Harvard Medical School’s Asylum Clinic


9am-9:15am: Greetings & Opening Remarks by Dr. Holly Atkinson

9:15am-9:25am: PHR Board Update

9:30am-10:15am: On Moral Injury: a War Correspondent's Perspective

  • by Janine di Giovanni, multi-award winning journalist and author, Senior Fellow and Professor at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs

10:30am-11:15am: Moral Injury in Medicine and Healthcare

11:25am-11:55am: Brief encounters that last a lifetime: an immigrant neurosurgeon’s reflections on American exceptionalism, George Floyd, sunlight, and race

  • by Jacques J. Morcos, MD, Professor and Co-Chairman, Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Miami

12:00pm-12:45pm: Lunch & Extra Breakout Sessions:

  • Climate Change & Human Rights by CSOM Green for Gaea
  • COVID-19 & Women's Reproductive Health & Gender Based Violence by Dr. Deborah Ottenheimer, MD, director of the Women's Holistic Health Initiative at Harlem United

1:00pm-1:45pm: Breakout Session: Refugees International

  • COVID-19 & Asylum Seekers, Detention Centers, & Immigrant Essential Workers at the U.S.-Mexico Border by Yael Schacher, senior U.S. advocate at Refugees International
  • COVID-19 & Global Refugee Populations by Devon Cone, senior advocate for women and girls at Refugees International

1:45pm-2:30pm: Breakout Session: Amnesty International

  • COVID-19 & Conflict-Affected Yemen by Philippe Nassif, Advocacy Director, Middle East and North Africa
  • Censorship & Uyghur Muslims by Joanne Lin, National Director, Advocacy & Government Affairs

2:45pm - 3:45pm: Panel : Attacks on Healthcare, Treatment of Healthcare Workers in the Pandemic, and COVID-19's Impact on Global Healthcare Systems

4:00pm-5:30pm: PHR Advocacy & Discussion Hour: Crowd Control Weapon Use by U.S Law Enforcement, Attacks on Medics and Peaceful Protestors , Post-Election Safety and Discussion, and more!!

5:30pm-6:00pm: Remembering the Opioid Epidemic: Naloxone Opioid Overdose Prevention Training with Maya Nussenzweig, MPH. Register:

Stay tuned for more updates!

Contact us at should you have any questions.

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