Nutrition’s 2022 Virginia A. Beal Lecture to Address Equitable Nutrition as Social Justice

Virginia Beal Lecture speaker Renée Boynton-Jarrett

Dr. Renée Boynton-Jarrett

April 26, 2022

Pediatrician and social epidemiologist Dr. Renée Boynton-Jarrett, MD, ScD will provide the keynote lecture "Ensuring Equitable Nutrition Is Social Justice: The First 1,000 Days and Beyond" at the 34th annual Virginia A. Beal Lecture on April 28 live via Zoom.

Boynton-Jarrett’s lecture is scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m., following the department’s annual scholarship and award ceremony beginning at 5:30 p.m. The program, which is free and open to all, will also offer 1 CPE hours. Guests are asked to pre-register for the Zoom link.

An associate professor at Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine, Boynton-Jarrett is the founding director of the Vital Village Networks. Vital Village uses a trauma-informed lens to improve community capacity to promote child wellbeing and advance equity through dedicated collaborative partnerships, research, data-sharing, and community leadership development in Boston and nationally through the NOW Forum and CRADLE Lab.

Boynton-Jarrett’s scholarship has focused on early-life adversities as life course social determinants of health. She has a specific concentration on psychosocial stress and neuroendocrine and reproductive health outcomes, including obesity, puberty, and fertility. She is nationally recognized for work on the intersection of community violence, intimate partner violence, and child abuse and neglect and neighborhood characteristics that influence these patterns. She has received numerous awards for teaching, clinical care, and public health including the Massachusetts Public Health Association Paul Revere Award for outstanding impact on public health. She received her AB from Princeton University, her MD from Yale School of Medicine, and ScD in Social Epidemiology from Harvard School of Public Health, and completed residency in Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

In 1989, the late UMass Amherst nutrition professor and pioneer Virginia A. Beal established an endowment to provide students, faculty, dietetics professionals, alumni and friends with an opportunity to discuss the challenges and advances at the forefront of the nutrition field. The Virginia A. Beal Lectureship Fund makes possible the annual celebration of nutrition research. Beal presented the first lecture in 1989. At the event, the department also presents endowed scholarships, one of which bears Beal’s name, to the department’s finest students.