Health Equity | Opioid Epidemic

Racial Justice in National Drug Policy

Virtual Conversation with Michael Botticelli, MEd, Kassandra Frederique, MSW, and Helena Hansen, MD, PhD, moderated by Eugenia C. South, MD, MSHP

12:00p.m. – 1:00p.m. ET June 4, 2021 Virtual Event

Protestors gathering in march.


Read event recap here.

The ongoing opioid epidemic has highlighted the contrast between the decades-long “War on Drugs,” which devastated Black and Latino communities through mass incarceration, and the public health approach to opioids in white communities, which emphasizes better access to treatment. Our panelists discussed the structural racism in seemingly color-blind national policies, and how to address the opioid epidemic in more just, compassionate ways.

Co-hosted with Bold Solutions, a University of Pennsylvania initiative aimed at addressing the effects of interpersonal, structural, and institutional racism on health; and co-sponsored by Urban Health Lab.


Michael Botticelli

Michael Botticelli, MEd

Former Executive Director, Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine, Boston Medical Center, Former Director, Office of National Drug Control Policy

Kassandra Frederique

Kassandra Frederique, MSW

Executive Director, Drug Policy Alliance

Helena Hansen

Helena Hansen, MD, PhD

Professor and Chair, Research Theme in Translational Social Science and Health Equity, and Associate Director, Center for Social Medicine, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine

Eugenia South

Eugenia C. South, MD, MSHP (moderator)

Assistant Professor, Emergency Medicine, and Faculty Director, Urban Health Lab, Perelman School of Medicine

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Please note: Closed captioning is available for browser-based attendees.