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Professor Shavonnie Carthens is a faculty member in the UK Rosenberg College of Law. Her scholarly interests examine issues of environmental justice and health equity, with a focus on the ways in which the law can be a tool for improving access to healthy living environments. She also researches and writes at the intersection of legal literacy, race, and the First Amendment.

This talk stems from grant work, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, entitled: “The Universal Basic Neighborhood Project.” The UBN Project is a collaboration among researchers from Simmons College of Kentucky, University of Louisville, University of Kentucky, J. David Rosenberg College of Law, and Rice University. This transdisciplinary research effort considers how to move the conversation around health equity beyond the individual. Instead, project investigators suggest that as a collective we should begin to diagnose and treat communities by considering a range of relevant factors, with law and policy being one of those factors. This talk details the broader law and policy-related aspects of this project by exploring which law and policy systems are needed to support health outcomes on a neighborhood level. In addition, this discussion will highlight how law can also contribute to community-level health inequities.

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