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the memory bank

Where we interview scholars, physicians, and activists


Lan Li 

Katherine Wu 

Danica Pietrzak 

Taylor Phillips

Sabariah Mohamed Hussin

Bilal Rehman

Haoting Huo


Jesus Cisneros Estrada

Pearl Zhang

Aysel Rizvi

Jason Lee

oral interview


In this research cluster, we provide transcripts of interviews with practitioners, activists, and scholars of topics related to the Medicine Race Democracy Lab, such as the founding of the Jivaka Project on Buddhist Medicine, the accreditation of acupuncturists in the United States, and the formation of community clinics to support LGBTQ+ individuals in Houston. Transcriptions are edited for clarity of reading. 


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Image 1: Signing of bill to formalize acupuncture practitioners in Pennsylvania, circa 1985

"I was still in acupuncture school, and was more a witness than a participant in the process [of licensing acupuncturists]. In the picture below, Lynn is seated to the right of then PA Governor Dick Thornburgh. Behind Lynn in the light-colored suit is my late wife Janice MacKenzie. To the right of Lynn, in a dark suit w/dark hair, is Nancy Post. These three were the prime movers. (I'm in the shadows, a couple rows behind Gov. Thornburgh.)"

- Rolly Brown

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Shen Ping Liang

Dr. Liang (L.AC.) is the founder of the American College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in Houston, TX. He has practiced acupuncture in Taipei, Taiwan and worked as an acupuncturist in São Paulo, Brazil and played an integral role in licensing acupuncturists in Texas and the United States. 

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Lynn Mitchell

Dr. Mitchell, RN (PA), LAc (PA), CA (NJ), Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM), is Professor Emerita of the College of Traditional Chinese Acupuncture (UK). She received her PhD at the California Institute of Integral Studies in Philosophy and Religion (CIIS), and holds a BSN from the University of Delaware. She has been integral in licensing acupuncturists in Pennsylvania and the United States. 

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Ted Kaptchuk

Dr. Kaptchuk received his B.A. in East Asian Studies, Columbia University, studied at the Macao Institute of Chinese Medicine (Macao, China), serves as Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and formerly chaired the NCCAM's National Advisory Council.

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Brian Riedel

Dr. Riedel serves as the Associate Director, CSWGS

and received his Ph.D. in Anthropology at Rice University and centers his work around lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer social movements.

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Pierce Salguero

Dr. Salguero is a Thai massage therapist, historian, medievalist, philologist, ethnographer, and documentary filmmaker. He is the founder of the field of Buddhist Medicine and serves as Associate Professor of Asian History and Religious Studies PennState Abington.

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John Paul Liang

Dr. John Paul Liang is the former President of the Texas Association of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine and currently the President of the American College of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine. He is also the former Chair of the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine. 

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Shana Turrell-Pietrzak

Dr. Turrell is a licensed naturopathic physician in the state of Arizona. She began her studies at the University of Arizona, and then attended Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences.

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Rolly Brown

Dr. Rolly Brown is an acupuncturist, Tai Chi instructor, and guitarist. In his music career, Brown has been a solo performer, sideman, studio musician, radio producer, and teacher. Brown was instrumental in getting acupuncture legally approved in the United States.

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Sasha Sumling

Sasha Sumling is the founder of Massagemomma and specializes in pregnancy, labor, labor induction, bed rest, breech presentation, postpartum, and infant massage services. She also provides other services as a birth and postpartum doula. 

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Mahmood Marfani

Mahmood Marfani is the Director of Shifa Healthcare & Community Services, a nonprofit organization that provides a range of medical, legal, and social services to the Houston community through its network of volunteers from the Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH).

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