1) Introduce yourself: who are you, what do you do, and why is it important?

My name is Manami Uechi, an informally adopted younger sister of Janice Whyne. I am a global health practitioner, physician by training, and currently a graduate student studying global health delivery in the US. I also teach global health to undergraduate students with an emphasis on equity and social justice. Global health is a broad term and its interpretation varies depending on the focus, but my focus is on how to remedy the long-standing racial health disparities and health inequities that result from various forms of structural violence that are deeply embedded in our society. Health and access to health care is a basic human right (so is education, water, food, etc.), so we need to fight together in order to achieve equitable and just health and social systems in this broken world. In solidarity.

2) What’s your most valuable skill?

Listening with an open heart and empathetic ears <3

3) Describe a tool, technique or practice that makes a difference to your work

Being soft and mendable, while also being resilient and determined at the same time. 

4) What advice do you most need to hear?

Strive to do your best, but you don’t need to be “the best” to be valuable and important.

5) Suggest an endearing and humorous question for question number five – and answer it.

– What is the most embarrassing thing you have ever worn?

I don’t remember wearing anything too embarrassing intentionally. But I had a really embarrassing experience a few years ago while I was visiting my alma mater in NY with my friend. So it was in June, and early summer is especially pretty and pleasant in Upstate NY. I was wearing a pair of jeans and light top and we took my friend’s dogs and visited the campus. We spent half the day walking around the campus, I even made an appointment with my former adviser and had lunch and coffee with him. Then, my friend picked me up and we went back to her house in the evening. When I arrived at her home and sat down on a wooden chair, I felt something cold on my butt. I first thought the chair was wet or something, so I stood up but didn’t see a drop of liquid. So I touched my back and bottom…and what I felt wasn’t my jeans, but my skin! I didn’t process what was happening for a second, so I rushed to a dressing mirror and to my horror… realised I had been walking around all day with my butt half naked. Never figured out how and when my jeans got ripped. Lol.