February marks Black History Month, a time when we honor the legacy and continued contributions of members of our community from African ancestry to our nation, and to our school.
While we center on Black Americans, we share in a collective pride because Black history is fundamentally American history. Dr. Carter G. Woodson envisioned this month -- chosen, in part, because it includes the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass -- as an opportunity to weave the heritage and contributions of Black Americans into the tapestry of the American story. “What we need is not a history of selected races or nations, but the history of the world void of national bias, race hate, and religious prejudice,” he wrote. Dr. Woodson’s vision of our shared humanity should serve as a guide for us as we engage one another in building community.
The significant historical and continuing contributions of colleagues of African ancestry affiliated with the VCU School of Medicine have produced better-trained doctors, innovative research and better health for us all. There are multiple events taking place throughout VCU and VCU Health to commemorate Black History Month. Here are details on two events that are part of our Living Legacies Series, co-sponsored by the Office of Health Equity, Humanities Research Center, HRC Health Humanities Lab, School of Medicine, School of Nursing, the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) and VCU Health:
- Part 1: St. Philip Hospital and School of Nursing – a discussion to be held on the legacy of MCV’s segregated hospital for Richmond’s Black community and nursing school for black nursing students. The discussion will be moderated by Stephan Davis, DNP, MHSA, FACHE, FAAN, College of Health Professions & School of Nursing, and feature panelist Mary Gilbert Holmes, RN, a St. Philip graduate.
- Date/Time: February 22, 2024 (Noon – 1:30 p.m.)
- Location: College of Health Professions Auditorium and Zoom.
- Registration Link: https://vcuhealth.libcal.com/event/11658245
- Part 2: School of Medicine – A discussion moderated by Sarah Martey, a first-year medical student and SNMA Social Chair, with panelist Philip Byrd, M.D., a former resident at SOM.
- Date/Time: February 27, 2024 (Noon – 1 p.m.)
- Location: MMEC Learning Theater & Zoom
- Registration Link: https://vcuhealth.libcal.com/event/11658247
As we press forward in 2024, let us honor our commitment to inclusivity and equity and recognize we are stronger as a community together. While we celebrate Black History Month this February, let’s strive to honor the achievements of Black Americans as a part of our collective achievements, every day.
Arturo P. Saavedra, M.D., Ph.D.
Dean, VCU School of Medicine
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health System