David Williams, an expert on racism and health from Harvard University, will meet with health professionals and the academic community on Feb. 10 and 11. He will also give a free public lecture on racism and health on Feb. 10. Mr. Williams is internationally recognized for research on understanding how race, racial discrimination, socioeconomic status and religion affect physical and mental health. He is the Florence and Laura Norman Professor of Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health and a professor of Sociology and African and African-American Studies and professor of Sociology at Harvard University. “Nova Scotia is a province rich in culture and diversity,” said Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine. “On behalf of the government, and all Nova Scotians, I welcome Dr. Williams to our province. His visit will put a spotlight on the influence of racial discrimination on health, and the role we can all play in addressing this important and timely issue.” The public lecture, Racism and Health – What is the connection?, will be held from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., in the presentation theatre of the Nova Scotia Community College, Waterfront Campus, 80 Mawiomi Pl., Dartmouth. It will also be streamed live at www.africancanadianhealth.ca/williams . Government, health and education institutions in Nova Scotia have recognized the impact of racism on the health of members of diverse communities. While many organizations have been working with diverse communities to address racism and other barriers to quality and timely care, more needs to be done. “The collaborative effort in bringing Dr. Williams to Nova Scotia underscores the importance of this issue,” said Dr. David Haase, co-president, Health Association of African Canadians. “The intent of his visit is to raise awareness of this issue and to spark further dialogue and action from the highest levels of government and the health care system to grassroots community members.” The visit is sponsored by the Health Association of African Nova Scotians, Cancer Care Nova Scotia, Capital Health, and Dalhousie University with funding from Diversity and Social Inclusion, Primary Health Care, Department of Health and Wellness.