Friedman Seminar: The Friedman Justice League Presents

seminar poster

"Building an academic-community partnership to support a public health agenda in Chinatown"


This panel explores two questions: 1) How does the Chinatown community define health? 2) What type of responsibility do institutions, like Tufts, have to their host communities to supporting a healthy neighborhood? In neighborhoods like Chinatown, residents and community leaders often look at public health through the lens of the social determinants. Members of the community can identify local, pressing health concerns before public health officials and academic researchers. This speaks to the need for institutions like Tufts to utilize a community engaged approach to working with their host community. A community engaged approach necessitates building trust and working towards a shared agenda. While historically, Tufts and Chinatown have come into conflict over issues of land use and development, there has been much work has been done over the last few decades to repair and heal this relationship through research, education, and outreach. This panel provides a perspective for how public health researchers and students can engage with community partners in ways that are mutually beneficial. The panel will provide historical context to the Tufts-Chinatown relationship and provide examples of how researchers and students can support community identified needs.

Speaker Bios

Carolyn Rubin, EdD, MA, is an Assistant Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine. She is a social scientist trained in theories of racial and ethnic inequality, immigration, community development and qualitative methods. Her research agenda focuses on using collaborative community research partnerships to address health disparities in minority and immigrant communities. She has led community-based participatory research projects related to Asian health and also developed research capacity-building programs for community partners. Dr. Rubin also is the Director ADAPT (Addressing Disparities in Asian Populations through Translational Research). ADAPT is focused on building an academic community research partnership between Tufts and the Chinatown community. Dr. Rubin teaches on the undergraduate campus in Medford as well on the Tufts Health Sciences campus in Chinatown. Her work as a researcher and teacher is informedby twenty years of experience working as a community builder with the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in various cities around the US.

Megan Cheung, MSW, LICSW, RN, is the Associate Director/ Clinical Director at the Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center (GBCGAC). She oversees the Adult Day Health programs, Social Services, and health promotion programs. Her long term commitment is to provide culturally-appropriate services to Chinese-speaking elders so that they can maintain the highest quality of life and comfort for as long as possible. She has many years of experience of working in health care, primarily with the geriatric population. Prior to working at GBCGAC, she has worked in home care, rehabilitation centers, and nursing homes. She was a consultant for several rehabs and nursing homesfor over 10 years. She earned a Master Degree in Social Work from Washington University and a Nursing Degree. She is the President of the Chinese Women Association of New England and board members of the Massachusetts Adult Day Services Association & the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association of New England.

Violinist, erhu player and composer Shaw Pong Liu engages diverse communities through multidisciplinary collaborations, creative music and social dialogue. As 2016 City of Boston Artist-in-Residence, Shaw Pong’s project Code Listen used creative music workshops and performances to support healing and dialogue around gun violence, racism, and police practices, in collaboration with the Boston Police Department, teen artists and family members surviving homicide. Her compositions have been commissioned by the Silkroad Ensemble, A Far Cry, Lorelei Ensemble, Anikaya Dance Theatre, and pianist Sarah Bob. As a violinist Shaw Pong has performed with groups including Silk Road Ensemble, MIT’s Gamelan GalakTika, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and Castle of Our Skins. She has worked as a teaching artist in the U.S. and internationally for the Silkroad (US and Lebanon), Youth Music Culture Guangzhou (China), Cuerdes Oaxaca (Mexico), Young Audiences, Celebrity Series, Cantata Singers, and New England Conservatory.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at 12:15 PM


Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at 1:15 PM


Behrakis Auditorium
The Jaharis Center
150 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02111


Name: Jen Zahradnick
Phone: 617-636-3773


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