Miraj Desai, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry, was invited to participate in Catalyze, a national summit on race and health equity organized by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Held in St. Louis, Missouri in late April 2023, Catalyze featured extensive programming, workshopping, and community building over three days.
Keynote speakers hailed from diverse backgrounds and professions, including academics, activists, and socially conscious comedians Cristela Alonzo and Hari Kondabolu. This diverse representation emphasized the intersections of health equity across multiple societal domains.
A unique feature of the summit was a high degree of participant interaction and engagement with local St. Louis pioneers in health equity.
Desai, principal investigator of a Pioneering Ideas Award from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said, "Many of us who have been working in this area have often felt the challenge of operating in relative isolation. But it was clear from this summit that if there are indeed 'many of us,' then the many can form a robust movement and supportive community of our own — across multiple sectors ranging from policy and practice to academia, activism, and the arts — continually drawing more people in."