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Inaugural Payne Lecture in Faith, Justice, and Health Care with Dr. David R. Williams – “Social Inequities in Health: Opportunities and Challenges for Contemporary Christianity”

Thursday, November 3, 2022, 5:30PM | Goodson Chapel


Dr. David R. Williams is the Norman Professor of Public Health and Chair, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He is also a Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. His prior faculty appointments were at Yale University and the University of Michigan. He holds master’s degrees in Public Health and Divinity and a PhD in Sociology.

An internationally recognized social scientist, he has authored more than 500 scientific papers and his research has enhanced our understanding of the complex ways in which socioeconomic status, race, stress, racism and health behavior can affect health. The Everyday Discrimination Scale that he developed is the most widely used measure of discrimination in health studies. He has also studied the association between religious involvement and health, directed a national study on forgiveness and health and co-edited (with Loren Toussaint and Everett Worthington) a 2015 book on Forgiveness and Health.

Dr. Williams is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences. He has received Distinguished Contribution Awards from the American Sociological Association, the American Psychological Association, and the New York Academy of Medicine. He has been ranked as the Most Cited Black Scholar in the Social Sciences, worldwide, and as one of the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds.

He has played a visible, national leadership role in raising awareness levels of inequities in health, including serving as staff director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America and a key scientific advisor to the award-winning PBS film series, Unnatural Causes: Is inequality Making Us Sick? His research has been featured in the national print and television media and in his TED Talk.


About the Lecture

The Richard Payne Award and Lecture aims to highlight and honor academic, clinical, and lay leaders who in their work and research embody Dr. Payne’s spirit of caring for the whole person.









November 3, 2022
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
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The Theology, Medicine, and Culture Initiative at Duke Divinity School
Office of Black Church Studies at Duke Divinity School
Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities & History of Medicine at Duke
The Purpose Project at Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke


Goodson Chapel
407 Chapel Drive
Durham, NC 27708 United States
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