Hailed as “inspiring,” Crystal R. Emery’s documentary Black Women in Medicine shines the spotlight on the tenacious women who have succeeded against all odds in the male-dominated medical field. The Massachusetts premiere of the film will take place Saturday, May 6, at Wellesley College. The film showing is a part of a program running between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. that is presented by the Greater Boston Diva Docs, a vibrant collective of female physicians of African descent.
The day will include a screening and discussion of the film, led by Emery, followed by three workshops, “Building Bridges: The Power of the Sisterhood,” on exploring how to create bonds between Black and White women in medical professions; “From Conversation to Action,” laying out effective steps to create systemic changes in the medical field and beyond; and “Recruitment and Retention,” to inform the practices of medical-school staff with recruitment and retention duties.
Changing the Face of STEM is a national campaign designed by Emery to encourage women and young people of color to pursue careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). It is an extension of both the film, which recently aired on public television, and of a need
to drastically increase the numbers of Blacks in the STEM fields. Currently, fewer than two percent of physicians in the U.S. are African-American women.
Against All Odds: Black Women in Medicine, Emery’s biographical photo-essay book profiling more than 100 spectacular physicians, is a companion piece to the film and is used in the campaign, which brings stars of STEM, including doctors, to schools and colleges as well as community groups across the country-areas where African-Americans are severely underrepresented. At Wellesley, Emery will be joined by Drs. Alice Coombs, Clara Jones, Sharon Marable, Nancy Oriol, Karen Morris-Priester and Ramona Tascoe.
Emery, a quadriplegic, has triumphed over two chronic diseases to become an outspoken voice on the intersection between race, gender and disability. She founded URU The Right To Be, Inc., in 1995 to challenge hearts and minds through the arts. Emery’s work has been recognized by the Congressional Black Caucus with the Health Brain Trust Award in Journalism.
The event, which includes Q&A and book signing, takes place at Wellesley College’s Diana Chapman Walsh Alumnae Hall Auditorium, 106 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02481.