Sex, Gender, Health Initiative

Roxane Gay

Body Image, Hunger, and Difficult Women: Reading Roxane Gay

March 28, 2017: Panel prelude to the lecture by Roxane Gay, UB Distinguished Speaker on April 5th.

Roxane Gay is an author and cultural critic whose writing is unmatched and widely revered. Her work garners international acclaim for its reflective, no-holds-barred exploration of feminism and social criticism. With a deft eye on modern culture, she brilliantly critiques its ebb and flow with both wit and ferocity. Words like “courage,” “humor,” and “smart” are frequently deployed when describing Gay. Her collection of essays, “Bad Feminist,” was a New York Times best-seller and is universally considered the quintessential exploration of modern feminism. NPR named it one of the best books of the year and Salon declared the book “trailblazing.” Her powerful debut novel, "An Untamed State," was long listed for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize. She has two upcoming releases--“Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body” is a painstaking examination of body image, and “Difficult Women” is a collection of stories. Sponsored by the Graduate Student Association, UB Wellness Education, UB Gender Institute: Sex, Gender, Health Committee.  

Body Image, Hunger, and Difficult Women: Reading Roxane Gay, a panel discussion

Right to left: Alexandra Barbera (Psychology & Education), Phoenix Brown (Sociology & SSI), Anne Marie Butler (Global Gender Studies), Anna Sotelo-Peryea (MUP Asst. Director, Violence Prevention Coordinator, Wellnees Education Services)

Body Image, Hunger, and Difficult Women: Reading Roxane Gay, Panel Discussion

Dynamic discussion: the panel provoked many relevant questions and sharing personal experiences

Dr. Lynn Sommers, Professor, Penn State University

Forensic sexual assault examination and injury: Is skin color a source of health disparity?

September 29, 2016 

Dr. Lynn Sommers is the Lillian S. Brunner Professor of Medical Surgical Nursing. She is also the former Director of the Center for Global Women’s Health and faculty in the Center for Health Equity Research.   She studies injury related to sexual assault and risk-taking behaviors in vulnerable populations at risk for health outcomes disparities. Her populations of interest (women, older adolescents, young adults) who live in poverty have poorer health than those who do not, and bear a larger burden of injury. Her long term goals are to reduce the burden of injury and develop and test interventions that are effective in preventing injury. 

 Dr. Sommers is visiting UB to continue her year-long work as research mentor with Drs. Kafuli Agbemenu, Adrian Juarez, and Ellen Volpe, of the UB School of Nursing, as part of a Dimitriadis Research Mentoring Fellowship awarded for 2015-16 for their community-based research project.

This presentation is sponsored by the Civic Engagement and Public Policy Research Initiative (CEPP) and the Gender Institute. 

Tiq Milan

Transgender Health and Wellness

Tiq Milan, Keynote Speaker for the Sex, Gender, Health Symposium 2015

In our ongoing effort to explore the relationships between sex, gender, and health, our third annual symposium focused on Transgender Health. Transgender people have particular health disparities as compared to the overall population, and health care systems need to understand these disparities, while not assuming that all transgender people have the same needs. Our keynote speaker, Tiq Milan, is a Senior Media Strategist for National News – GLAAD; Co-Organizer of #ThisIsLuv. His lived experiences as a transgender, African American male and his work as an author, media spokesman, and actor informed his talk.

During two dynamic days in November 2015, Tiq Milan spoke to diverse audiences both on and off campus. In a well-attended lecture on South Campus addressed primarily to medical students and faculty, Milan described experiences of multicultural trans people and addressed common misconceptions about trans health issues in the U.S. He then highlighted actual needs of trans people, how these remain unrecognized, and suggested simple ways medical workers could meet these needs. At UB’s Intercultural Diversity Center, Milan met over an informal lunch with a group of students and administrators, holding conversation about a wide scope of topics: from the personal experience of coming out as a trans black man from Buffalo’s East Side, to advocacy and education, to trans awareness on UB campuses, to dominant pop culture attitudes about trans topics. That evening, Buffalo’s Dreamland Art Center hosted a book reading from Tiq Milan’s Man of My Own Design, a memoir whose completion is expected in summer 2016. 

Students in a conversation with Tiq Milan at UB's Intercultural Diversity Center

Students and administrators in a conversation with Tiq Milan at UB's Intercultural Diversity Center on North Campus


Dr. Mike Rembis (UB History and Center for Disability Studies presents his talk, "Perfectable You: Gender, Narrative Ethics, and Wellness"

Dr. Mike Rembis (UB History and Center for Disability Studies) presents his talk, "Perfectable You: Gender, Narrative Ethics, and Wellness"

Narrating Wellness Symposium 2014

The opening panel: Dr. Mike Rembis (UB History and Center for Disability Studies), Dr. Linda Pessar (UB Psychiatry), and Dr. Jim Bono (UB History)

Statistics cannot capture individuals’ and communities’ complex, lived experiences of disease, injury, resilience, and well-being. Through a day of instruction and interaction, this symposium exposed participants to diverse narratives of wellness and examined how such deeper perspectives can enrich research and practice at the intersection of Sex, Gender, and Health. 

Women In Medicine Symposium 2014, poster
Women in Medicine, photo from the symposium

Dr. Nancy Nielsen, Dr. Gale Burstein, Dr. Diana Wilkins, Dr. Glenna Bett, moderator

Interdisciplinary Perspectives Symposium Poster

Sex and Gender Medicine is distinct from women’s health (ovaries, uterus, etc) and men’s health (prostate, erectile dysfunction, etc). Understanding the intersections between sex, gender and wellbeing improves health outcomes for all. Men (and male animals) have been the basis of much biomedical research, but males are not normative for the whole species, and females are not a deviation from the norm. Both sex and gender differences have been found in: Prevalence, Susceptibility, Symptoms, Pathophysiology, Likelihood to seek treatment, Treatments offered, Response to Treatment, Morbidity and Mortality. Sex and Gender Medicine is not intended to be a political endeavor. Rather, as an academic discipline, it seeks to advance a rigorous evidence-based approach to issues concerning sex and gender differences in science and medicine, in access, and in the law. This symposium brought together UB faculty and community leaders to provide information, stimulate discussion, and initiate novel interactions. The conference was a venue to present sex and gender health research as well as to discuss educational best practices for incorporating sex and gender health into the curriculum.