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What Does It Mean to Be Healthy?

50 minutes

What does it mean to be “healthy” and how does our civic life and that healthy life intersect? What role does the government play in your “healthy” life and how should it address healthcare disparities, healthcare coverage and drug prices? Our civics teacher and friendly neighborhood strategist L. Joy Williams brings Dr. L Toni Lewis to the front of the #SundayCivics class to answer these questions and have a discussion on how we move toward health equity.

Our Guest

Dr. Luella Toni Lewis pursued a career in social justice through medicine and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in sociology and a Medical Doctorate from Georgetown University. In 2004, Dr. Lewis became a family medicine resident and a member of the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR/SEIU)–the largest physician’s union in the Service Employees International Union. Dr. Lewis became very active with CIR/SEIU, working with unions and allies to advocate for the community served by the failing system. She served the members of CIR/SEIU in many capacities from 2006-2010, including roles from delegate to National President.

From 2010 to 2016, Dr. Lewis served as Chair of SEIU Healthcare, the 1.1 million healthcare worker division of SEIU, and was elected International Vice President of SEIU. Dr. Lewis has worked with SEIU in many areas — including ACA implementation and health system transformation, global health, youth engagement, racial justice, disaster response, and political strategy. Currently, she serves on various boards and leadership committees of health and social justice organizations, including as President of the Public Policy and Education Fund of New York, a member of the National Advisory Committee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leadership Program, and a member of Equity Advisory Group for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

Dr. Lewis has a diverse set of tools to pull from for this mission. In addition to founding Liberation Health Strategies, which focuses on community, national, and global holistic strategies for health justice, she is a licensed Family Physician and Geriatrician and is internationally credentialed in Kemetic Yoga — an inclusive and afrocentric practice inspired by ancestral and ancient Egyptian culture–and Femme!–a multisensory fusion of dance, sensual motion, meditation and celebration for self-care, release, and empowerment.

Dr. Lewis is originally from Mounds (pop. 800), a rural city in southern Illinois, and currently resides in the Bed-Stuy Neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY.

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