DGH students dreaming of making a positive difference in the world. One group of students was not content to wait until after graduation, so they joined the Global Health Justice Group. In June, Global Health Justice launched a website to amplify the voices and narratives from the Global South which address structural inequities and fundamental political and economic drivers of health that are often absent in the conventional global health discourse.

“As we become more familiar with the structural determinants of global health, policies, and practices, we realize how the structures of power inhibit progress toward health equity” says Fatima Al-Shimari (MPH’22), a leader in the Global Health Justice project. “We are challenged to be optimistic—to see ourselves as change makers who address these fundamental power structures.”

Global Health Justice is a collection of stories and videos that examine the perpetrators of global inequities, including global theft, phantom aid, decolonization, vaccine apartheid, war/militarism, and structural violence. It calls out the harms caused by the Global North in the name of altruism and highlights successful leadership strategies and narratives that have combated injustices in global health.

“This website helps us understand the challenges we’re up against and address topics that we feel should be in the mainstream of global health conversations, but usually aren’t,” says Dr. Steve Gloyd, Professor in the DGH. "Global Health Justice plans to systematically bring those topics to the forefront in a single site.”

Priyasha Maharjan, a pharmacist from Nepal, and UW MPH candidate (’23), says “I am confident that this initiative will go a long way. When we launched the site, every single person in the room was eager to see more, and to contribute toward this work."

Students contribute by writing articles and making videos on public health aspects they are passionate about, and we are also bringing outside-sourced articles from places like the NYTimes, the Guardian, AlJazeera, and other sources and commenting on them and sharing them to the website while giving credit to the original authors.

To read the narratives collected or learn how you can be a part of this growing team of activists, please visit the Global Health Justice website. 

By Fatima Al-Shimari