Bridging the Gaps Conference for health in underserved communities

Posted by on September 8, 2008

Bridging the Gaps

18th Annual Symposium
September 12, 2008
Behrakis Grand Hall, Creese Building
Drexel University, 3210 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA  19104

a working conference on strategies
for improving health in underserved communities

Symposium Agenda
8:30 – 9:45 a.m.            Poster Session:
Bridging the Gaps Student Community Health Projects
10:00 – 11:30 a.m.         Workshop Sessions (see registration form forworkshop descriptions)
11:45 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.    Awards Ceremony/Plenary Session
Jimmy Santiago Baca, poet, author, advocate, former inmate

Jimmy Santiago Baca

A runaway at age 13, Jimmy Santiago Baca was sentenced to five years in a maximum-security prison where he turned his life around. While incarcerated, he learned to read and write and discovered a passion for poetry. Baca sent three of his poems to Denise Levertov, the poetry editor of Mother Jones. The poems became part of “Immigrants in Our Own Land,” published in 1979, the year he was released from prison. Later that year, he earned his GED.

Baca is the winner of the Pushcart Prize, the American Book Award, the International Hispanic Heritage Award, and for his memoir, “A Place to Stand,” he received the prestigious International Award. In 2006 he won the Cornelius P. Turner Award—a national award recognizing one GED graduate annually who has made outstanding contributions to society.

Baca has devoted his post-prison life to writing and teaching others who are overcoming hardship. He has conducted hundreds of writing workshops in prisons, community centers, libraries and universities throughout the country. In 2005 he created Cedar Tree Inc., a nonprofit foundation that provides free instruction, books, writing materials and scholarships to those in need. It also offers an internship program, which provides live-in writing scholarships that allow students, writers and poets a chance to write, attend poetry readings, conduct writing workshops, and work on documentary film production.

Now celebrating its 18th year, Bridging the Gaps is committed to forging partnerships with individuals and organizations dedicated to the promotion of health in underserved communities. The annual symposium is based on the work of students from academic health institutions in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Erie, Pennsylvania, and in New Jersey who have participated in the Bridging the Gaps program. The symposium is offered free to the public. Come explore issues of importance to all of us focused on improving the health of our urban communities.

Please share this invitation with others who might wish to attend.

To learn more, please contact Mary Ellen Bradley, Bridging the Gaps Program Office: Phone 215-898-4141,
Fax 215-573-2265.  E-mail:  Web:

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