World Health Week - Neighborhoods: Violence, Poverty, and Inequalities


Chris Blattman, PhD, UChicago Harris

LaQuay Boone, MSW, LSW, Senior Manager of Employment Services, Chicago CRED

Franklin Cosey-Gay, PhD, MPH, Director, Violence Recovery Program, UChicago Medicine Trauma Center

Moderated by William Sites, PhD, Associate Professor at the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice

World Health Week events will feature discussions exploring structures, systems, and policies which impact the attainment of optimal health.

Each year, World Health Day is celebrated on April 7th to commemorate the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization. World Health Day is the culmination of World Health Week, a week of events to draw attention to pressing health concerns around the world. To mark the 75th anniversary of the WHO, the Susan and Richard Kiphart Center for Global Health and Social Development (Kiphart Center), and the Center for Health Administration Studies (CHAS) in the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice, and the Center for Global Health (CGH) in the Biological Sciences Division are pleased to co-sponsor the University of Chicago’s 2023 World Health Week events.

Building Health Equities is the theme for the 2023 World Health Week events, with specific focus on the role neighborhoods, policies, and organizations play in shaping health (in)equities and health outcomes in Chicago and in communities around the world. Each event will highlight scholars, practitioners, and advocates working in locally and internationally. 2023 World Health Week events will feature panel discussions, a keynote address, and expert dialogues speakers will explore the structures, systems, and policies which impact the attainment of optimal health. Collectively, the series will offer a comparative lens to examine the success and the challenges in achieving health equity here in Chicago and globally.

Professor Blattman
Chris Blattman, PhD UChicago Harris

Chris Blattman is an economist and political scientist who uses field work and statistics to study poverty, political engagement, the causes and consequences of violence, and policy in developing countries. He is a professor in the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago.

LaQuay Boone
LaQuay Boone, MSW, LSW, Senior Manager of Employment Services for Chicago CRED

LaQuay is the Senior Manager of Employment Services for Chicago CRED. LaQuay has worked with children and families in a serving capacity for 10 years, from pregnant and parenting teen parents, early childhood youth, homeless and runaway youth, families involved with the child welfare system and both, men and women in the urban area transitioning from community violence/gang life.

In many of these positions LaQuay has taught at-risk individuals’ interpersonal skills, soft skills, social-emotional development skills and workforce development. The word changes based on the population and the technique, in which I have taught the various skillsets, but the message remains the same: these are essential life skills for navigating through successful interpersonal relationships in your personal and professional life.

LaQuay currently works t-risk individuals through the lens of workforce development involving community violence since 2019. As the current Site Director of CREDWorks, LaQuay and her team has established a thriving workforce development center implementing soft skill development, work readiness curriculum, hands on STEM activities in a modern-day makerspace while connecting our participants with both training, employment, and entrepreneurial opportunities.

Franklin Cosey-Gay
Franklin Cosey-Gay, PhD, MPH, Director, Violence Recovery Program, UChicago Medicine Trauma Center

Franklin has 20 years of research experience promoting prevention science, supporting the coalition functioning of community-based organizations and social service agencies, building community capacity for high-quality implementation and evaluation of local programs, and tested and effective interventions. Franklin’s research specialty is using qualitative methods to access and understand the context connected to what factors increase risk and buffer youth from youth problem behaviors. In addition, Franklin has supervised the recruitment, survey data collection, and program implementation of multiple longitudinal research studies. Franklin’s work emphasizes emerging Public Health practice that goes beyond just looking at risk behaviors but researching upstream by examining root causes of violence such as the social, economic, and political systems to address social inequities tied to class and race. Franklin’s career is guided by a healing-centered approach that understands the importance of history, culture, faith, and civic engagement. Before joining the the Violence Recovery Program at the University of Chicago Medicine Trauma Center, Franklin was the Executive Director of the Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention (CCYVP) housed at the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice. Franklin maintains a contributing role at the Center and volunteers as the co-director of the Chicago Race Riot of 1919 Commemoration Project.

  • The event is open to the public and free to attend. Registration required.
  • Hybrid: In-person and virtual via Livestream.
  • Seating limited; available on a first-come-first seated basis.
  • In-person attendees: Reception with light refreshments prior to the start of the event.
  • Event will be recorded .
  • Not eligible for CEUs.

If you have any questions about access or to request a reasonable accommodation that will facilitate your full participation in this event such as ASL interpreting, captioned videos, Braille or electronic text, food options for individuals with dietary restrictions, etc. please contact the event organizer.