Award-winning author and reproductive rights justice activist, Dr. Deirdre Cooper Owens is THE expert on the intersection of race and medical history.
Past Speaking Engagements
Bias and Anti-Racism in the Medical Field
Medical racism is inarguable. Dr. Cooper Owens will provide a snapshot of the dismal state of medical racism for people of color using an engaging historical lens. In this talk, she also offers up necessary solutions and calls-to-action on how to provide necessary anti-racist medical care.
Beyond Black History
How do many Americans learn about black history? Sadly, it is often broached through a trivia style approach instead of treated as necessary history in academic classrooms and corporate programs. What Dr. Cooper Owens knows is the real impact and value of Black History is about more than “firsts” and “the only.” In this talk, she contextualizes how Black history offers a more holistic interpretation of American history by dispelling countless myths. The audience will walk away with a deeper understanding of the contributions of people of color. (And for the record, George Washington Carver didn’t invent the peanut or peanut butter!)
“Dr. Cooper Owens is a terrific speaker who is able to break down historical content in a way that is accessible to myriad audiences. She delivers difficult subject matter about the intersections of race and medicine with care and ease, compelling listeners to pay close attention and enthusiastically enter the conversation (when appropriate) by posing questions and offering comments. Every time I hear Dr. Cooper Owens speak, I am in awe of her command of the stage, the breadth of her research, and her commitment to engaging the public without pretense.” Michelle D Commander, PhD, Assoc. Director and Curator of the Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery, NY, NY.
“Dr. Cooper Owens revolutionizes the context in which we frame gynecology. She changes the way we approach patients and encourages the understanding of the burdens of generational traumas and societal burdens in gynecology. Virtually or in person, no one else is as exact as an educator as Dr. Cooper Owens. Her talks are a must add to anyone trying to change and challenge the current narrative of medical norms.” Sallie Sarrel, Co-Founder, The Endometriosis Summit
“Dr. Cooper Owens has provided incredible insight around medical racism in the US. We are grateful for her expertise and contributions!” Danielle Keiser, Exec. Dir. and Founder, Menstrual Health Hub
”Dr. Cooper Owens is phenomenal! I have heard her speak numerous times and never pass up the opportunity to do so again. I’m so glad we were able to host her at UNMC and for our students, faculty, and staff to discuss health humanities with her. The best-reviewed program we had this year.” – Carrie Meyer, Assistant Professor, Head of Special Collections and Archives, Leon S. McGoogan Health Sciences Library, University of Nebraska Medical Center
About Dr. Deirdre Cooper Owens
Dr. Deirdre Cooper Owens is an award winning author and a historian most known for her writings on slavery and the history of reproductive medicine. However, her superpower is that she speaks with courage and comfort about deeply unsettling topics. She has spoken at the United Nations, London School of Economics, Morehouse University, Princeton University, Harvard University, The March of Dimes, University of Limerick, Cedars Sinai Medical Center and hundreds of other organizations.
Hailing from South Carolina’s Gullah/Geechee Low Country, she comes from a long line of storytellers and preachers. Her ancestors gifted her with skills that move audiences from hearing the unimaginable to open hearts through the power of her authentic voice and compelling tales. Along the way, Dr. Cooper Owens has lived all over the United States and South Africa, written an award-winning book (Medical Bondage: Race, Gender and the Origins of American Gynecology), and earned a Ph.D. When she’s not chronicling the country’s past or advocating for reproductive justice for birthing people, Deirdre enjoys being a global citizen and proud middle-aged fashionista.