Health & Wellness Science & Technology Society & Culture

Two conferences in June to analyze obesity, family health, well-being

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia will be the epicenter of two conferences addressing health and well-being next month.

A UGA State of the Art Conference addressing obesity precedes the American Family Therapy Academy national conference focusing on family health and well-being, both held at the Georgia Center from June 2-7.

Jerry Gale, professor of human development and family science in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, serves as co-chair for both events.

“We have respected and internationally known scholars coming to these events,” Gale said.

The State of the Art Conference June 2-3, officially titled “Family and Community as Pathways for Health: Obesity Prevention and Intervention Strategies,” features noted family science scholars and speakers Susan McDaniel from the University of Rochester, America Bracho from Latino Health Access in California and John Rolland of the University of Chicago, among others.

The event is free but requires registration.

“A focus of this event is emphasizing family, community and culture,” Gale said. “Health and well-being is in large part a product of social, political and cultural factors. Economics, racism and disparity all impact one’s health and well-being.”

The AFTA Conference opens June 4 with a showing of the 2008 documentary “Neshoba: The Price of Freedom” at the Morton Theatre in downtown Athens from 7-10 p.m.

While there is a registration fee for the AFTA conference, admission to the opening event is free and open to the public. The event is co-sponsored by the Southern Poverty Law Center and UGA.

The documentary, which deals with the murder of three civil rights workers in Mississippi in 1964, will be introduced by Emmy Award-winning director Micki Dickoff.

After the viewing, a panel discussion will include Doc Eldridge, president of the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce; the Rev. Julia Chaney-Moss, sister of James Earl Chaney, one of the murdered civil rights workers; and Elaine Pinderhughes, a Boston College professor emerita and AFTA member.

“This film highlights that the battles fought 50 years ago are still being addressed today,” Gale said. “We need to have these difficult conversations about racial and economic divides in a respectful, safe and honest manner in order to achieve a better Athens-Clarke County community.”

Gale said as many as 250 AFTA members will attend the conference, titled “Family Health and Well-being: Embracing Wholeness and Complexity.”

“This is an opportunity to hear people across other disciplines who are doing work both in the U.S. and internationally whose books are well-read and translated into multiple languages,” Gale said.

For more information on the State of the Art conference on obesity, see

For details on the AFTA Conference, see