Eye-Opening and Timely Film documents History of Medicare and Civil Rights

The Appreciating Diversity Film Series is proud to present The Power to Heal: Medicare and the Civil Rights Revolution, with guest speaker, acclaimed Dr. Neil Powe on Zoom May 5, from 6-7 pm.

The documentary remains shockingly timely nearly sixty years after Medicare was signed into law. Two years into the current pandemic, for example, CDC data reveals that African Americans and Hispanic people are at higher risk for illness and death than White people.

“A moving story of the twin fights for racial justice and health care, and how they intersect. This is an important film because the struggles for racial justice and access to health care continue.”

Alan Goodman, Past President, American Anthropological Association

The hour-long documentary moves briskly from the history of segregated hospitals and a brief summary of civil rights activism to the internal workings of the federal government that led to integrated hospitals and African American access to health care. It narrates the early days of health inequity, powerfully demonstrating how race and poverty denied African Americans equal access to healthcare. Moving interviews reveal personal experiences of African Americans’ struggles with illness and death without adequate healthcare. The film transitions from these individual stories to a broader review of disparities in hospital care throughout the United States. Physicians, civil rights leaders, and historians recount the dangerous tasks of documenting egregious incidents, tracking down patients, and the risks of blacks and whites working together to put desegregated structures in place.

Public healthcare professionals agree: “Power to Heal has a critically important yet previously untold story to tell. And it does so in a way that is both painstakingly accurate and profoundly moving. The range of historical film footage and interviews is remarkable.”

Paula Braveman, Professor, Family and Community Medicine; Director, Center on Social Disparities in Health, UCSF

After the virtual screening, viewers will hear from Dr. Neil Powe, an acclaimed leader in Public Health and the ongoing effort to correct healthcare disparities. Dr. Powe is a Harvard-trained physician, Professor of Medicine and Vice-Chair of the Department of Medicine at UCSF, and Chief of Medicine at the Pricilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. Viewers will be fortunate to hear from him about the history and current day status of healthcare, and be able to ask him questions as well.

“This is a must see. It’s riveting from start to finish.”

Michele Goodwin, U.c. Irvine

Register for a link to stream The Power to Heal FREE, and for the conversation on zoom with Dr. Neil Powe from 6-7 PM on Thursday, May 5. The streaming link for The Power to Heal will be active from May 2-5.