Spring 2021: The Responsibility To Act: Health Equity and Social Justice Leadership

A young woman wears a Miami facemask and walks along. At left, a series of photos of people with masks and interacting with medical personnel

The Robert E. Strippel Memorial Fund for Continuing Dialogue on Human Rights and Social Justice

Building Collective Social Responsibility: COVID-19 Pandemic and the Overrepresentation of Underrepresented Ohioans

Tuesday, March 16, 6PM

Guest Speakers

Jamie Carmichael, Chief Health Opportunity Advisor, Ohio Department of Health

Jamie Carmichael is an Ohio native, a mother, and serves as the Chief Health Opportunity Advisor at the Ohio Department of Health. The Chief Health Opportunity Advisor position was created in late 2020 in response to Governor Mike DeWine’s COVID-19 Minority Health Strike Force, which examined the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus on minority and underserved communities, as well as broader health disparities and racial injustices, in order to improve health outcomes. In her new role she is responsible for advancing Governor DeWine’s commitment to health equity and establishing Ohio as a model of justice, equity, opportunity and resilience.

Carmichael previously served as Deputy Director of Public Affairs for the Ohio Department of Mental
Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS), overseeing the communications and legislative divisions and leading the Office of Behavioral Health Policy. Her previous experience includes nearly a decade of service at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services where she worked on poverty reduction and workforce development policy and programs, as well as on health equity initiatives. Jamie started her career working in the community as a case manager in county government and in non-profit community corrections.

Lilleana Cavanaugh, Executive Director, Ohio Latino Affairs Commission

Lilly serves as Executive Director for the Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs, State of Ohio. Mrs. Cavanaugh has been directly engaged with the Latino community in Ohio for 24 years; the last thirteen serving in a statewide capacity with the Commission. She has played a key role in building collaboration and partnerships among government entities, community-based organizations and the private sector to improve the quality of life and opportunities for Hispanic Ohioans and other ethnic minorities. She is originally from Costa Rica and has lived and worked in Latin America, Africa, South East Asia, Europe, and the United States.

Lilly is a Certified Public Manager, and has an associate's degree in Business from Sinclair Community College, a bachelor's degree in Management from the University of Phoenix, and a master's degree in Business Administration from Capella University.

COVID-19 Pandemic: Disparities, emergency response strategies and systemic changes across Ohio’s agencies

Tuesday, March 23, 6PM

Guest Speakers

Kara Frederick, Director of Quality Assurance, Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities

Kara Frederick is the Quality Assurance Director at the Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities. She graduated from Miami University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science in Social Work with a concentration in elderly care. Her education continued as she received a Master degree of Business Management. After graduation, she began her work as a legal advocate in the probate court system. From there, she moved to work for the county board in supporting individuals with disabilities. Her advocacy work has continued in her career to always striving for equity for all individuals. Kara’s most recent advocacy work was with the COVID vaccine rollout, specifically for Individuals with disabilities in Butler County.

Giovanna Alvarez, Director, Su Casa Hispanic Center, SWOCC

Giovanna Alvarez was born in Trujillo, Perú. She graduated from Universidad Privada Antenor Orrego with a bachelor’s degree in Law and Political Science and a JD in Law.

Giovanna moved to Fort Lauderdale, FL in 2000 where she worked in the private sector. In 2006, she moved to Ohio and since then she has been serving the Hispanic/Latino Community. For the past 12 years she has been the Director of the Su Casa Hispanic Center, a program of Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio in Cincinnati. Giovanna’s responsibilities at Su Casa include the development and implementation of programs and services to serve the needs of the Hispanic/Latino Community of the tri-state area, as well as the educational needs of other international vulnerable populations, and individuals that come with refugee status.

Giovanna is a member of the FBI Multicultural Advisory Committee, the Advisory Council of the Greater Cincinnati Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, The League of United Latin American. Citizens, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Advisory Council, Prospanica, The Cincinnati Reds Diversity Community Advisory Council, Woman Helping Woman VAWA Collaborative, COMPASS, WELD (Women for Economic and Leadership Empowerment) and other professional affiliations. She currently serves as a steering committee member of the Greater Cincinnati Childhood Poverty Collaborative and is a member of the Health Collaborative Detect and Connect Project.

In October 2012, Giovanna was awarded the Distinguished Hispanic Ohioan Governor’s Award. Under her leadership Su Casa obtained the LULAC Hispanic Serving Institution of the Year Award, and the National Association of Hispanics MBAs Brillante Award for Excellence in Community Service in 2012. Then in June 2013, Su Casa was recognized with the Sister Dorothy Stang Award from the Mission’s office of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati for its advocacy efforts on behalf of Immigrants’ Human Rights. In 2015, Su Casa was a finalist on the “Make A Difference Award” from the Cincinnati Museum Center and in 2016 Su Casa obtained the Bridges Builder Award from the Cincinnati Community Action Agency, Furthermore, on May 2017 under Giovanna’s leadership, Su Casa obtained the Cincinnatus Association Marian and Donald Spencer Spirit of America Award for Conspicuous and enduring contributions to creating greater inclusion and promoting diversity in the Greater Cincinnati Community. Giovanna continuously gives presentations about the immigrant experience and Su Casa’s services, and promotes diversity and inclusion in the region.

Giovanna is a graduate of Leadership Cincinnati Class 37, The FBI Citizens Academy, and the Mission to Service Leadership and Organizational Development training at the University of Notre Dame.

COVID-19 Pandemic: Structural factors that impact high risk group experiences

Tuesday, April 6, 6PM

Guest Speakers

Kathie Brinkman, Oxford Community Member
Assisted Living/Nursing Home Residents: A Family Perspective

Kathie has been an Oxford community member for about 50 years. She retired from Miami University as Director of Support Services, after 30+ years in the central IT division. Freedom from work has evolved into time to spend on service to the community, including board positions on League of Women Voters of Oxford; Oxford Citizens for Peace & Justice; Parachute: Butler County Court Appointed Special Advocates and others.

Family is an important aspect of Kathie’s life and she spends a good deal of time advocating on behalf of her mother, who is 95 years old and in fragile health. Her mother moved to an assisted living facility one year ago, one month prior to all facilities being closed to visitors due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Courtney Hineman, Speak-Up Self-Advocacy Program, Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities
A Disability Perspective

Courtney Hineman has worked at the Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities for two years as a Community Outreach Advocate. She co-leads Speak-Up, the Board’s self-advocacy group. For Speak-Up, she writes the agenda, gives presentations, and invites presenters. Also, in her role as Community Outreach Advocate, she goes out into the community to let others know about the Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities. Every week, Courtney co-hosts an online program called Chit Chat Time with Connie & Courtney where various disability-related topics are covered. She is a Best Buddies state ambassador, has co-taught a Disability Studies class at Miami University and was recently appointed by Governor DeWine to serve on the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council.

Sponsored by the Robert E. Strippel Memorial Fund for Continuing Dialogue on Human Rights and Social Justice in partnership with the Center for American and World Cultures; Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities; the Ohio Department of Health; the Ohio Commission on Hispanic Latino Affairs; the Oxford Citizens for Peace and Justice; and MujerLatinaToday, media partner.

Co-curricular Program Goals

This program will provide:

  1. opportunities to explore and establish a shared language regarding the meaning of equity, systemic equity and collective social responsibility to better define best practices of planning, response and recover from COVID-19 pandemic -locally and globally;
  2. comprehensive health equity data, data analysis and outcomes regarding the overrepresentation of underrepresented communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Ohio and beyond; and
  3. an exposure to dialogue mechanisms to create a space for learning-sharing, reflection, and opportunities to take democratic civic action.

Learning outcomes

Participants will:

    1. reflect on how/why re-framing the meaning of equity, systemic equity and social responsibility can create, support and sustain a strong social justice leadership development;
    2. assess and summarize the key take away of their reflections and define how/ why is a matter to collective social responsibility to cultivate their personal and professional civic skill building capacities and democratic agency; and
    3. design action strategies focusing on equity, systemic equity and collective social responsibility best practices - to imagine alternatives to transform the present and the future of democratic, just and sustainable societies.

Co-Curricular Connections

For more information contact:


Health concerns from COVID-19 much higher among Hispanics and Blacks than Whites

Ensuring Equity in COVID-19 Planning, Response, and Recovery Decision Making

Ohio’s Executive Response: A Plan of Action to Advance Equity [PDF]

Equity vs. Equality and Other Racial Definitions

Impact of COVID-19 on people’s livelihoods, their health and our food systems

The COVID-19 pandemic underscores the need for and equity-focused global health agenda

America: Equity and Equality in Health 3. Structural racism and health inequities in the USA: evidence and interventions

Hispanic women, immigrants, young adults, those with less education hit hardest by COVID-19 job losses

Economy and COVID-19 Top to the Public’s Policy Agenda for 2021

How structural racism harms Black Americans’ health

Ohio COVID-19 Minority Health Strike Force has a blueprint of recommendations to respond to the disparities.

COVID-19 Pandemic Has Increased Ohio's Human Trafficking Vulnerability While Diminishing Response

COVID-19 in Ohio hitting African Americans hardest

Census 2020: Ohioans at Risk of Undercounting and the Impact of Covid-19