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Tibetan and Himalayan Communities in a Covid-19 World

July 12, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Sienna Craig, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Dartmouth College
Pema Dorjee, President, Tibetan Nurses Association, New York
Nawang Tsering Gurung, Endangered Language Alliance, Independent Scholar, New York
Konchog Tseten, Tibetan medical doctor; Adjunct Lecturer in Tibetan, EALAC, Columbia University
Sangey Tashi, Program Director, Tibetan Community Health Network, New York
Pema Bhum, Director, Latse; Adjunct Lecturer in Tibetan, EALAC, Columbia University

Moderated by: Palden Gyal, doctoral student in Sino-Tibetan history and Tibetan Buddhism, EALAC, Columbia University

Since March 2020, New York City has been the global epicenter of the covid-19 pandemic. Within New York City, the central Queens neighborhoods of Corona, Jackson Heights, and Elmhurst have been the “epicenter of the epicenter” with at least 11,000 cases and hundreds of fatalities. These neighborhoods are home to one of the largest North American immigrant communities of people coming from Tibetan and Himalayan regions.

During this time of crisis, the Tibetan and Himalayan communities in New York have come together to support each other as well as the greater New York community through their work as frontline workers and disseminating critical supplies and information. Yet in spite of being disproportionately affected by the pandemic, their contributions and experiences remain little known. This event brings together Tibetan health care workers, traditional medical practitioners, medical anthropologists, and grassroots researchers to highlight the responses and experiences among Tibetan and Himalayan community members in New York City as well as some responses on the Tibetan Plateau.

Sienna Craig, a medical anthropologist specializing in Tibetan medicine, will discuss some current projects documenting Tibetan responses to covid-19 and will engage the panelists in a discussion.

Pema Dorjee, the President of the Tibetan Nurses Association (TNA), which has been particularly active in raising funds to provide PPE for frontline healthcare workers in New York, will discuss the services TNA has been providing during the pandemic.

Nawang Tsering Gurung, a community activist, will share stories about how the Himalayan community has been supporting the five boroughs.

Konchog Tseten, a Tibetan medical doctor based in Queens, will discuss his work treating patients during the pandemic.

Sangey Tashi, a public health educator in New York, will talk about his work disseminating Tibetan public health messages for plateau communities.

Pema Bhum will share covid-related poems and stories from the Tibetan Plateau.

Sunday, July 12, 2020
2:00 PM-4:00 PM
Online through Zoom.

Registration required. Please register at https://tibetcovid19.eventbrite.com/. A Zoom invitation will be sent to those who register.

Event Contact Information:
Athina Fontenot
212-854-6916
af3018@columbia.edu