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Justice Initiatives at BPL is partnering with community organizations and agencies to produce a series of Know Your Rights workshops. This event in the series will focus on:

  • Basic access to healthcare and medical care;
  • How healthcare operates, especially for those who are uninsured or undocumented;
  • Your rights when seeing a doctor, nurse, or any kind of medical professional in a hospital or clinic;
  • What to do if you receive unexpected medical bills.

The event will be livestreamed on BPL's YouTube channel and on this event page. A Q&A session will be available via the livestream chat. Please register to receive information about Justice Initiatives programming.


Partners: Healthcare for the People is a project started by a group of licensed medical providers to focus attention on the failures of the healthcare system overall and specifically as it contributes to health disparities in Black and Brown communities. The group provides free medical services to anyone in need.

BPL's Healthy Communities Initiative focuses on the health and wellbeing of all Brooklynites by providing programs, services and resource collections to the public. The initiative focuses on mental health, maternal health, healthcare access and literacy, nutrition and positive aging. Through public health education, community partnerships, and interactive virtual programming, Brooklyn Public Library is committed to advancing health equity and improving community wellbeing.

Juancy J. Rodríguez, FNP-BC, RN, BSN, (he/him) grew up in NYC after emigrating from Domincan Republic at nine years old. Juancy started his work in healthcare as medical interpreter then was motivated by work in HIV prevention counseling to youth to enter Columbia University’s Nurse Practitioner program. He currently works for Callen-Lorde’s HOTT program, providing HIV treatment and prevention, gender affirming care while also specializing in management of HPV.  As a member of HTFP founding team he feels that healthcare is a human right owed to everyone.  Juancy enjoys knitting, reading, learning piano, video games, exercising, interior decor and exploring nature.  His appreciation for the arts and music is evident and you’ll see him dance to the beats of his personal speaker whenever his heart strikes.

Juliet Widoff, MD, AAHIVS (any pronoun) came to medicine through a fairly circuitous route. Graduate school in linguistics coincided with the death of her best friend and many other members of her community from HIV and academia began to feel insufficiently relevant to the world around her. She spent several years doing education and advocacy work with injection drug users, sex workers and incarcerated individuals before settling on a career in medicine. Since finishing her residency in social medicine/internal medicine, Juliet has worked in the outpatient clinic of a public hospital in the Bronx, in several clinics within the NYC shelter system, in an FQHC in Queens, and for the last 10 years at an FQHC serving the LGBTQ population in NYC. Juliet has been joking with her patients for years that they should not be surprised if they find her standing on a soapbox on a street corner ranting about the need for change to our broken healthcare system. After 3 months of running the medical service in a hotel housing unhoused individuals with COVID at the beginning of the pandemic, Juliet found the return to primary care especially troubling as this pandemic has highlighted all the inequities and dysfunctions of our healthcare system.  Healthcare for the People was born of this distress as a productive way to manage the challenges and frustrations of working within a broken system. When she is not practicing medicine, Juliet has been ferrying a 31 yr old, 18 yr old and 12 year old towards adulthood. In her copious spare time, Juliet assists the love of her life in the running of a retreat for BIPOC artists of color in Putnam County, NY.

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