Spero Manson

Distinguished professor of public health and psychiatry, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center

Spero M. Manson (Pembina Chippewa) is a medical anthropologist who is widely acknowledged as one of the nation’s leading authorities in regard to Indian and Native health. He directs the Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health and occupies the Colorado Trust Chair in American Indian Health within the Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center. His programs include 10 national centers, which pursue research, program development, training, and collaboration with 250 Native communities, spanning rural, reservation, urban, and village settings across the country. He has acquired over $200 million in sponsored research to support this work and published 280 articles and book chapters on the assessment, epidemiology, treatment, and prevention of physical, alcohol, drug, as well as mental health problems over the developmental life span of Native people. He completed his training at the University of Minnesota (1980) and a psychiatric internship at the Oregon Health Sciences University. https://coloradosph.cuanschutz.edu/research-and-practice/centers-programs/caianh/

Spero is speaking at

Platform: Zoom webinar CASW New Horizons in Science
October 21, 2020
4:00 pm - 4:30 pm


  • Mary T. Bassett (Speaker) Director, François-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Center for Health and Human Rights; FXB Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University
  • Spero Manson (Speaker) Distinguished professor of public health and psychiatry, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center
  • David Hayes-Bautista (Speaker) Director, Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture, University of California, Los Angeles
  • W. Wayt Gibbs (Moderator) New Horizons in Science program director, CASW


Watch the prerecorded talks for this session beginning on Oct. 14. (Video embargoed until 4:00 p.m. ET 10/21/20.) Then tune in here on Oct. 21 for live Q&A with the speakers. (Whova mobile app users, look for the YouTube link in the session description.)

SARS-CoV-2 is blind to race, but the legacy of systemic racism in the U.S. has caused the virus to hit some racial and ethnic groups far harder than others. In July, a UCLA study reported that "Latinos and Blacks in both Los Angeles County and NYC are twice as likely to die of COVID-19 as non-Hispanic whites. Native Hawai’ians or other Pacific Islanders are nearly seven times at risk for becoming infected in Los Angeles, and have nearly five times the death rate of whites." By June, Native residents of New Mexico accounted for about 60% of coronavirus deaths, though they make up less than 9% of the population.

The disproportionate impacts of this pandemic on Black, Latino, and Native Americans, as well as other people of color, throw into sharp relief longstanding racial inequities in American health care, educational and economic opportunity, and political representation. Coronavirus has added urgency to reforms that redress the cumulative effects of systemic racism in how medicine and science are practiced.

In this session, public health experts from each of these communities will use the focusing lens of the pandemic and new results from their own research to highlight the solvable problems that contribute most to these health disparities. They will help us understand how science writers can avoid racial and ethnic framing and tropes that reinforce discriminatory systems. And they will point us to underreported successes in which communities of color have themselves taken innovative steps to combat coronavirus that could serve as a model for the nation.

Presented by:
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