Andrews Speaks: Social Consciousness Summit

   Podcast: Andrews Speaks | Posted on April 24, 2020


8th Annual Social Consciousness Summit (Apr 23, 2020)
Theme: “COVID-19: Understanding and Breaking the Socio-Economic and Racial Disparities”

Michael Nixon, Andrews University VP for Diversity & Inclusion, moderates the discussion, where panelists seek to carefully explore some of the core reasons for the racial and socioeconomic disparities that have come to light in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and discuss what these disparities reveal to us about the inequities that predated this pandemic; how the pandemic has worsened those inequities; and the policies and practices we can advocate for to begin the process of addressing them.

Co-curricular credit is available for students, whether listening to the podcast or watching the video. When you have completed the episode, click here to answer a reflection question online to receive credit.


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View the video on Vimeo or in the player below.



Dr. Harvey Burnett, Associate Professor of Psychology and Chair of the School of Social & Behavioral Sciences at AU. His family is from the Grand Portage Band of Ojibwas.
Dr. Lynn Todman, Executive Director for Population Health at Spectrum Health Lakeland in St. Joseph, Michigan. In her role, she helps set the strategic direction of the health system efforts to improve population health and reduce health inequities. Dr. Todman is also the catalyst behind Community Grand Rounds, a speaker series designed to educate healthcare providers and community members about the connection between racism and health and to use that education to narrow health inequities in Berrien County, MI.
Dr. Padma Tadi Uppala, Professor and Chair of the School of Population Health, Nutrition and Wellness at Andrews University, and also Program Director for Public Health. She has received several grants and conducted research in the areas of breast cancer and minority health.
Ingrid Weiss Slikkers, Assistant Professor of Social Work, has been a social worker and therapist since the early 90s and currently teaches at Andrews. She comes from an Uruguayan/Argentinean family and has done focused work with the Latino community. Over the last 7 years, she has worked locally with programs for refugees coming from overseas and immigrants, specifically unaccompanied immigrant children. As the director of the new Trauma Center at Andrews, which was featured in the previous episode of this podcast, she has had the opportunity to take graduate students to work on the Navajo Reservation and also traveled abroad two refugee camps to educate and help with trauma.
Twyla Smith, Assistant Professor of Social Work & Director of Field Education at AU
Nicki Britten, Health Officer for the Berrien County Health Department
Dr. Anita Fernander, Associate Professor of Behavioral Science in the College of Medicine at the University of Kentucky. Her primary area of research and teaching has focused on examining the impact of race-related stress on health disparities among African Americans. Her current scholarly passion is focused on increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in medicine, training and mentoring students and faculty regarding cultural humility, and promoting diversity, inclusivity, and equity in academic medicine. She is also the Founder & Chair of the Lexington-Fayette County Health Disparities Coalition.
Dr. Brandy Lovelady Mitchell, Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for the Kent Intermediate School District


  • Spectrum Health Lakeland
  • Andrews University Office for Diversity and Inclusion
  • AU Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Campus Center
  • Office of Research & Creative Scholarship
  • Office of the Provost


  • Jerry Price (Manager for Inclusion & Diversity at Spectrum Health Lakeland)
  • Carlisle Sutton (Director of Community Engagement, Integration & Services at Andrews University)
  • Michael Nixon (Andrews University Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion)
  • Jeff Boyd (Andrews University Office of Research & Creative Scholarship)

Sponsors: Campus & Student Life
Related Website(s):

   Jeff Boyd