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The Health and Human Rights Oral History Project Launch

December 8, 2022 @ 9:00 am - 10:30 am


The USC Institute on Inequalities in Global Health (IIGH) is pleased to present the launch of The Health and Human Rights Oral History Project (HHROHP), a growing archive of video testimonies from diverse figures in the health and human rights movement. The project fills a critical gap in the modern history of public health by providing an inside view of the decisions, discussions, and dynamics behind some of the most impactful health and rights interventions of the past several decades.

Join us as we unveil this first phase of the HHROHP, comprised of 30 long-form oral histories from former staff and grantees of the Open Society Foundations’ Public Health Program (PHP) — one of the many entities to apply an international human rights framework to policy and practice in public health — as well as other key pioneers in the field of health and human rights. From 1993–2021, the PHP catalyzed and funded some of the most transformative trends in the health and rights field, from the development of harm reduction programs in the former Soviet Union, to the globalization of palliative care, to the strengthening of sex workers’ rights in Africa. This archive encapsulates the PHP’s understanding of public health as a political process, not just a biomedical one, offering critical lessons for the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and other global health challenges.

This 90-minute event will feature lively conversation from student interviewers and select HHROHP interviewees, as well as commentary from scholars and academics about the potential of the archive. This event marks the beginning of an archive that will continue to grow as other organizations, institutes, and individuals are inspired to add their own oral histories that deepen our collective understanding of global public health.

Register here!



  • Opening remarks by Michèle Duvivier Pierre-Louis, former Prime Minister of Haiti and President of Fondation Connaissance et Liberté – FOKAL
  • Nina Schwalbe, Founder and Principal, Spark Street Advisors and former Director of the Open Society Foundations’ Public Health Program
  • Tahir Amin, Founder and Executive Director of the Initiative for Medicines, Access, and Knowledge (I-MAK)
  • Ruth Morgan Thomas, Global Coordinator, Global Network of Sex Work Projects
  • Leon Botstein, President of Bard College
  • Noor Nieftagodien, Head of History Workshop, University of the Witswatersrand
  • Tamar Ezer, Acting Director, Human Rights Clinic, University of Miami School of Law and former Deputy Director, Law and Health Initiative, Open Society Public Health Program
  • Sofia Gruskin, Director of the USC Institute on Inequalities in Global Health
  • Maylis Basturk, Student Interviewer, Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California
  • Lillie Guo, Student Interviewer, University of Southern California
  • Asna Tabassum, Student Interviewer, University of Southern California
  • Closing remarks from Dr. Kathleen Foley, Attending Neurologist, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and former Medical Director of the International Palliative Care Initiative


December 8, 2022
9:00 am - 10:30 am




USC Institute on Inequalities in Global Health
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