- March 8, 2022
- 6:00 pm
- Online (PST)
According to renowned political economist Raj Patel and physician and activist Rupa Marya our bodies, our societies, and our planet are inflamed. From the Covid-19 pandemic and the shocking racial disparities in its impact, to the international response to systemic racism and the backlash from it, as well as climate change and the refugees that result from the changes to our planet—our bodies are responding to it all through various forms of inflammation.
Inflammation is deeply connected to everything—the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the diversity of the microbes living inside us, regulating everything from our brain’s development to our immune system’s functioning. It is connected to the traumatic events we experienced as children as well as the traumas endured by our ancestors. It can also be the result of access (or lack thereof) to healthcare and the very models of healthcare that physicians practice.
In their recent book, Inflamed, Raj and Rupa reveal the links between health and structural injustices—and offer a new deep medicine that can heal our bodies and our world.
Join Raj and Rupa for a rich, unique conversation with CIIS professor Charlotte María Sáenz as they illuminate the hidden relationships between our biological systems and the profound injustices of our political and economic systems. Explore the deep medicine of decolonization and its potential to heal not just our bodies, but the world.
Raj Patel is a research professor at the University of Texas at Austin’s Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, a professor in the university’s department of nutrition, and a research associate at Rhodes University, South Africa. He is the author of Stuffed and Starved and the New York Times bestselling The Value of Nothing, and the coauthor of A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things. A James Beard Foundation Leadership Award winner, he is the codirector of a groundbreaking documentary on climate change and the global food system, The Ants and the Grasshopper. He serves on the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems and has advised governments worldwide on the causes of and solutions to crises of sustainability.
Dr. Rupa Marya is a physician, an activist, a mother, and a composer. She is an associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, where she practices and teaches internal medicine. She is a cofounder of the Do No Harm Coalition, a collective of health workers committed to addressing disease through structural change. At the invitation of Lakhóta health leaders, she is helping to set up the Mni Wiconi Clinic and Farm at Standing Rock to decolonize medicine and food. She is a cofounder of the Deep Medicine Circle, an organization committed to healing the wounds of colonialism through food, medicine, story, and learning. Working with her husband, the agroecological farmer Benjamin Fahrer, and the Association of Ramaytush Ohlone, she is a part of the Farming Is Medicine project, where farmers are recast as ecological stewards of rematriated land and food is liberated from the market economy. She has toured twenty-nine countries with her band, Rupa and the April Fishes, whose music was described by the legend Gil Scott-Heron as “Liberation Music.”
Charlotte María Sáenz is an activist scholar working to decolonize Education, Ecology, and all of Life. She is Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies and doctoral researcher at ECOSUR: Colegio de la Frontera Sur in Chiapas, Mexico, where she develops a Seed Pedagogics praxis that accompanies the Indigenous Zapatista Movement and other struggles for collective liberation. She also serves as founding board member for the Deep Medicine Circle, working to heal the wounds of colonialism through food, medicine, story, and learning.