E.R. Brown Symposium

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2021 E.R. Brown Symposium

Opening Doors for All: Improving Health in Housing and Homelessness
Monday, October 4 – Tuesday, October 5, 2021
9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. PT

Register for the symposium!

Register for the student session.

Download the program/agenda.

California is home to more than a quarter of the country's homeless population. In early 2020, 161,548 people experienced homelessness in California on any given day — a 40% increase over the last five years. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated the public health crisis faced by people experiencing homelessness: Housing security is a major determinant of health. There are no simple solutions to ending homelessness: The crisis is vast and complex, requiring well-coordinated systems, flexibility in approach, and implementation of individual-level interventions that support and house the most vulnerable Californians.


You’re invited to join the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (CHPR) as we bring together public health leaders, community advocates, policymakers, and other thought leaders to help identify past successes and lessons learned, so that California can invest effectively with evidence-based solutions to creating a healthier, more prosperous California for all.

Confirmed speakers and panelists include:

  • Bill Purcell, Former Mayor, Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County 
  • Libby Schaaf, Mayor, Oakland
  • Phil Ting, California State Assemblymember, District 19
  • Isaac Bryan, California State Assemblymember, District 54
  • Philip Mangano, President and CEO, The American Round Table to Abolish Homelessness
  • Donald Whitehead, Jr., Executive Director, National Coalition for the Homeless
  • Kathryn Monet, CEO, National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
  • Margot Kushel, Director, UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations
  • Michelle Cabrera, Executive Director, County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California
  • Leepi Shimkhada, Director of Housing and Services, Housing for Health, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services
  • Gary Painter, Director, USC Sol Price Center for Social Innovation and Homelessness Policy Research Institute
  • Suzette Shaw, Poet and Advocate, Skid Row from a Women's Perspective
  • Eva ThibaudeauCEO, Temenos Community Development Corporation
  • Nadereh Pourat, Director, Health Economics and Evaluation Program, and Associate Director, UCLA CHPR
  • Dana White, Program Officer, True Colors United
  •   …and more to be announced!

UCLA CHPR Director Ninez A. Ponce, PhD, MPP, will provide opening and closing remarks. 

From a lack of affordable housing and health, mental health, and substance abuse services, to unemployment, incarceration, structural racism, domestic violence, and more, speakers will discuss some of the underlying economic and social factors contributing to homelessness and what we can do to understand and effectively address these factors simultaneously with investments that can improve the health and well-being of all Californians.

As part of the 2021 E.R. Brown Symposium, a student session will be held from noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, October 5, featuring discussions and networking with some of the symposium’s speakers. Students from all schools are welcome to attend. 

Register for the symposium.

Register for the student session.

Students must register for the symposium in addition to the student session. 

If you would like to help support the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research provide evidence-based research and responsive policy analysis to policymakers, advocates, and the public, and produce events like the E.R. Brown Symposium, you can make a gift to the E. Richard Brown Health Policy Impact Fund. The E.R. Brown Symposium, named after UCLA CHPR founder E. Richard "Rick" Brown, is an annual event that honors the life of Rick Brown, who spent his life advocating strongly for a health-care-for-all system that would ensure health services for every Californian.