Health Equity High School Summit 2020

Health Equity


The 2020 Health Equity High School Summit is canceled, until further notice. As a sponsored organization and group of the University of Michigan School of Public Health, HEHSS is making this decision in accordance with the current UM policies for COVID-19. To monitor the UM response to COVID-19, visit Further updates regarding the Summit will be communicated to registered attendees and will be posted on this webpage.

The Health Equity High School Summit intends to create a space where high school students could learn about health equity and motivate a call to action for those at a young age to realize the urgency of eliminating health inequities. Last year at the second ever Health Equity High School Summit, students, staff, and faculty at the University of Michigan had the opportunity to witness 97 high school students address the effects of systemic injustice towards the health of marginalized communities and teach them the power of public health.


Group Photo


Summit Mission

The Health Equity High School Summit (HEHSS) intends to introduce high school students to the discipline of public health and health equity. The summit is a full day event, free of charge to attendees. Morning snacks, lunch, and a free t-shirt are included. The summit will be kicked-off by a keynote speaker, comprise of mini-workshops on health disparities, and teach students how to solve real-world public health problems through a brief team case study competition. At the end of the summit, we hope students will be able to identify their own definition of health equity and apply what they have learned to their own communities and future careers.

Keynote Speaker

2020 Keynote Speaker

More information to come!

2019 Keynote Speaker

State Representative Abdullah Hammoud led an engaging keynote address, incorporating the high school students and volunteers into the discussion. Hammoud laid down the foundation for the Summit by defining social determinants of health and illustrating the difference between equity and equality. He emphasized that our personal circumstances and the environments we live in have a tremendous impact on our health. Furthermore, stressing the extreme relevance of public health in our society today, Hammoud invited the students to draw from their personal experiences in their communities that relate to health as well as incorporating his own narrative into the discussion. This activity ignited passion among the high school students to create change in their communities and in society as a whole. Responding to the energy of the high school students, Hammoud shifted the conversation to speak about how we go about making change, especially at the policy level. He called for a health equity lens in which the students can use their energy to become civically active, such as calling and writing letters to legislators like himself. Hammoud's keynote address set the tone for the day leaving a lasting impression on the high school students, University of Michigan students, and other attendees.



The educational, interactive workshops offered a brief introduction to a more specific health disparity topic following the keynote. Topics included:

Clean Water: From Uganda to Michigan (International Perspective on Access and Quality of Water)
Ebony Johnson, PhD Candidate

Traversing Borders: Immigrant Health
Hurley Riley, MPH Candidate
Kiren Chaudhry

Youth Violence Prevention
Dana Greene, MPH

Mental Health: Mind and Community
Shanice Battle, MPH (PhD Candidate)

Kelly Borton, MPH (PhD Candidate)

Below are some illustrative quotes from past high school attendees summarizing the Summit's impact over the years:

  • "I learned how health equity is different from health equality."
  • "For the future, I can involve public health into my life by suggesting needed services in my community, especially for certain groups of people, to the leaders within my community."
  • "I learned that public health isn't only about sickness but also a person's everyday life and resources."
  • "I learned a lot about how public health stretches over a range of people and places and how we shouldn't always choose to focus on equality rather than equity."
  • "What I learned today; health equity isn't subjective to the actual biological and physical factors, but also refers to internal pressures/determinants that affect society as a whole."
  • "I want to learn more about how to get people to listen to me so I can make a meaningful difference."
  • "I want to learn how I can help make changes in my community addressing sexism, racism, and LGBT populations."

If you have any questions about the summit, feel free to contact: