Advocates-in-Residence Program

In this new Global Health Studies initiative, leading advocates and practitioners working at local, national, transnational and global levels on diverse health issues from a justice/rights perspective are invited to Yale for short residences (1-4 weeks).

Advocates are selected based on a demonstrated commitment to health justice advocacy, as well as an interest in thoughtfully reflecting on their practices, successes, and challenges with students, faculty, and community members.

During their residencies, Advocates serve as teaching and mentoring resources to students through guest lectures, events/workshops, and individual meetings. They also contribute to interdisciplinary scholarship, projects, and advocacy efforts at Yale and with partnered institutions and community groups. Advocates have the opportunity to further their own interests, build connections with people and projects relevant to their work, and leverage the resources of being in a U.S. academic environment.

2018-2019 Advocates-in-Residence

Diana Rodríguez Franco, MA, JD, PhD

Residency dates: November 8-17, 2018

Diana Rodríguez Franco is the director of the Environmental Justice division at the Center for Law, Justice and Society (Dejusticia) in Bogotá, Colombia. She holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. in Sociology from Northwestern University, and a J.D. and B.A. in Economics from the University of Los Andes (Colombia).  Her work focuses on environmental democracy, environmental politics, the political economy of development, Global South constitutionalism, intellectual property rights and access to medicines, human rights, sociology of law, economic, social and cultural rights, and strategic litigation. She also teaches at University of Los Andes and is a member of the Editorial council of the newspaper La Silla Vacia and of Profamilia, the Colombian planned parenthood. Her publications include Radical Deprivation on Trial: The Impact of Judicial Activism on Socioeconomic Rights in the Global South (Cambridge University Press, 2015, coaut.), “Internal Wars, Taxation, and State-Building” (American Sociological Review, 2016), Environmental Peace: Challenges and Proposals in the Post-accorde (Dejusticia, 2017); “Dependency Theory” (Oxford Handbook on the Politics of Development, coauthor, 2016) and “Globalizing Intellectual Property Rights: The Politics of Law and Public Health” (Routledge, 2012).

Evan Serio

Residency dates: January 13-30, 2019

Evan Serio is a designer, community activist, and harm reductionist. Evan is Director of Programming and Advocacy for the Sex Workers and Allies Network, and has been working with SWAN since moving to New Haven at the end of 2016. Evan has been involved with outreach efforts, coalition building, financial planning and grant writing, program development, and advocacy efforts. Evans also supports several other New Haven-based organizations.

Cyndee Clay

Residency dates: January 13-30, 2019

Cyndee Clay is an internationally recognized expert in harm reduction-based public health responses for improving the health, safety and rights of people who engage in the sex trade, people who use drugs, and homeless LGBTQ individuals. She is a graduate of the UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Health Care Executive Program at UCLA Business School, convened DC’s first working group on drug user health, and serves as the community co-chair of the DC Regional Planning Commission on Health and HIV. As the Executive Director of HIPS in Washington, DC, she has worked to empower people in street economies to challenge personal and structural barriers to health and wellness, as well as to build compassionate and effective community responses to urban challenges caused by poverty and criminalization.

Dr. Bernice Dahn, MPH, MD

Residency Dates: Mid-March through Mid-April, 2019

Dr. Bernice T. Dahn has over 20 years of experience as a public health physician, policy-maker, administrator, and educator. She is currently the vice president for health sciences at the University of Liberia (UL). From June 2015 to January 2018, Dr. Dahn served as the Minister of Health for the Republic of Liberia. For almost nine years prior, Dr. Dahn served as the Deputy Minister of Health and Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for the Republic of Liberia. In these roles, Dr. Dahn led the re-establishment of the Ministry of Health and the rebuilding of Liberia’s post-conflict health care delivery system. Internationally, Dr. Dahn has served as a board member of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and of the World Bank’s Global Financing Facility. In all fora, Dr. Dahn has been a resolute advocate for donor alignment to government-led plans and for mutual transparency and accountability in aid relationships.

In 2013, Dr. Dahn spearheaded the establishment of postgraduate medical residency programs in general surgery, pediatrics, internal medicine, and obstetrics & gynecology. During the early stages Ebola Virus disease outbreak in 2014, Dr. Dahn coordinated the national response to the epidemic, and post outbreak, Dr. Dahn oversaw the development of Liberia’s Investment Plan for Building a Resilient Health System, including the National Health Workforce Program. She also launched a National Community Health Services Policy (2016), creating a new cadre of Community Health Assistants. Dr. Dahn continues to serve at the forefront of Liberia’s advocacy for constructive aid practices. Having taught medical students as a faculty member at her alma mater, A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine, for 13 years, Dr. Dahn is now focused on improving academic and administrative systems at the college, with a vision of establishing a world-class health sciences education system.

Vuyiseka Dubula

Residency Dates: Mid-April through Mid-May, 2019

Vuyiseka Dubula is currently the director of the Africa Centre for HIV/AIDS Management (University of Stellenbosch). She has been one of the young leading black African women living with HIV in South Africa through her leadership role in social movements and NGOs for human rights of people living with HIV. Her leadership can be traced to the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), which she has led in various roles since 2001, but more recently, she was their general secretary (executive director) for eight years. She is openly living with HIV for 18 years, and has been the leader of people living with HIV through serving on various AIDS councils, namely the Western Cape Provincial AIDS council in the early 2000s, and later the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) for seven years, where she also served at one the South African National AIDS Council Trust, Country Coordinating Mechanism and Programme Review Committee until 2014.  She then joined Sonke Gender Justice in various capacities: first as a board member, later as Director of Policy and Research Development, and recently as their Director of Programmes: Community Mobilisation and Accountability. In 2009, she founded the Activist Centre for Education & Development (AEDC), which facilitates access to higher education for women living with HIV and provides leadership development and support for community women. She is recognized both in South Africa and globally for her leadership and is currently pursuing her PhD at the Centre for Civil Society, University of KwaZulu-Natal’s school of Built Environment and Development Studies while working full time as an activist, worker, mother, sister and pillar to many.