The University of Chicago News Office
May 19, 2006 Press Contact: William Harms
(773) 702-8356

University to host The Kenwood Project’s “Did you Know? Race, Health and Youth in our Community” on May 25

Racial disparities in U.S. health are persistent and widening. African-Americans are more likely to develop cancer, to suffer from diabetes, heart disease and stroke, and to contract and die from HIV-AIDS. The infant mortality rates for African American are more than twice the rate for white infants. From birth to old age, race marks the quality of life and access to health insurance and care for Americans.

A group of talented juniors from Kenwood Academy High School have spent the last six months working under the leadership of Melissa Harris Lacewell, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, and Thomas Fisher, Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of Chicago and an Emergency Department physician, to explore these health disparities with the goal of understanding the economic, political, social and cultural causes and consequences of the race-health gap.

This year marks the sixth anniversary of the Program of Academic Excellence for High School Juniors at Kenwood Academy (otherwise known as the Kenwood Project), a program that offers a unique learning experience to selected students of Kenwood Academy by pairing them with mentor-professors at the University of Chicago. This year’s program focused on the topic of Race and Health.

On Thursday, May 25, 2006, at 9:30 AM, the University of Chicago and Kenwood Academy will host the Kenwood Project’s final presentation. It is a film project and presentation of original survey data titled: “Did you Know? Race, Health and Youth in our Community.”  The film is a collaborative effort, bringing various the students voices, art pieces, research and interviews to bear on the study of race and health. The survey data is an insider look the health attitudes and behavior of Kenwood students. 

This event will take place on the University of Chicago campus, in Max Palevsky Theatre of Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 East 59th Street, Chicago, IL 60637.

For more information about the Kenwood Project or this event, please contact Melissa Harris Lacewell at or check out the website at
Last modified at 01:33 PM CST on Friday, May 19, 2006.

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