Covid-19 Conference: Learning lessons from Covid-19: Hearing voices from multi-lingual cultural and vulnerable communities*

Key information

10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Russell Square: College Buildings

About this event

Registration is now open! All are welcome. Please register online.

Please see the Covid-19 Conference final programme (PDF 265kb)


  • 21 April, 10:00 - 17:00
  • 22 April, 10:00 - 15:00


SOAS, University of London and online

Confirmed keynote speakers

  • Professor Tatsuya MIMA , M.D., PhD -The Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences, Ritsumeikan University, Japan
    Presentation title : COVID-19 and Life Itself: The Case of Ventilator Users
    Tatsuya Mima, M.D., Ph.D. is a neuroscientist, sociologist and qualified neurologist. Since 2015, he has been leading interdisciplinary research as Professor at the Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences, Ritsumeikan University. He also has clinical appointments in Kyoto University Hospital and Murata Hospital. His publication lists can be found at researchmap .
  • Professor Anandi Ramamurthy BA, PGDip, PhD - Sheffield Hallam University, UK
    Presentation title : Challenging racism in healthcare in the pandemic
    Professor Anandi Ramamurthy is the Principal investigator for Nursing Narratives: Racism and the Pandemic. She is the author of Imperial Persuaders: Images of African and Asian People in British Advertising (MUP 2003); Black Star: Britain’s Asian Youth Movements (Pluto 2013) and Struggling to be Seen: The travails of Palestinian cinema (Daraja 2021).

Plenary Speakers

  • Dr Sarah Pais - NIHR Policy Innovation and Evaluation Research Unit, Care Policy and Evaluation Centre, London School of Economics and Political Science LSE
    Presentation title : The Impact of COVID-19 on Autistic People in the United Kingdom
    Dr Sarah Pais recently conducted a study with Professor Martin Knapp, commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care, to examine the impact of COVID-19 on autistic people of all ages in the United Kingdom. The research findings directly informed government policy and the final report was published alongside the national strategy for autistic children, young people and adults.
  • Khadir Meer - Chief Operating Officer & Clerk, Board of Trustees, SOAS, University of London
    Presentation title : TBC
    Khadir was previously Chief Operating Officer and Deputy CEO at the London Ambulance Service, where he led significant digitalisation and transformation, alongside meeting the challenges of leading the organisation during the global pandemic. He also worked as Chief Operating Officer for London within NHS England from 2016-2019, and before that held a series of senior leadership and delivery roles in NHS England, NHS London and a number of London local authorities.

Conference aim

Covid-19 has affected all humans. Unlike war or natural disasters, impacting specific areas, nowhere is safe from Covid-19. Changing variants of the virus engulf countries globally. Vaccination is progressing, especially in wealthy countries, but there is no clear sign of this pandemic abating.

When we think about the most vulnerable people who have been affected by Covid-19, we need to understand Covid-19 at systemic level or as a “syndemic” as Richard Horton (2020) proposes. For example, it is known that Covid-19 spread vigorously especially amongst Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (sometimes called BAME) groups in the UK, leading to high mortality rates (2021), ultimately impacting society as a whole. Yet, the reasons for this are not clear.

This conference aims to discuss above issues, with emphasis on but not exclusive ethnic and minority communities, Autistic People, and victims of domestic violence and children.

This conference aims to provide a platform for anybody interested in above topics. To understand what has happened, what is needed now, how we can learn lessons, and how we can build resilience coming out of this syndemic.

The conference is planning to be blended on-site/online. Limited funding is available to cover expenses for students to join the conference on site.

If you have any questions, please contact: Rosa Vercoe rv7@soas.ac.uk

*This conference is a part of UKRI/AHRC Covid-19 research project: Cultural translation and interpreting of Covid-19 risks among London’s migrant communities (AH/V013769/1)