Friday, February 8, 2013

MGH celebrates Black History Month


STANDING STRONG: From left, musician Linda Brown; Noyes; Brown; Hausman Fellow Penny Merenge, RN; Sandra Brown, councilman Brown’s wife; and Bernice McField-Avila, MD, MHM, primary care access coordinator in the Emergency Department


For some of today’s young people, the civil rights movement occurred so far in the past that it seems like ancient history. But it is especially important for those born and raised after those challenging times that the struggles and sacrifices endured and the stories of the many people who stood strong in their attempts to end racial discrimination be preserved, discussed and taught. As part of these efforts, MGH Patient Care Services and the Partners Diversity Supplier Program hosted its annual Black History Month event on Feb. 1.

“We as a community must find a way to preserve history,” said Chelsea City Councilor-at-Large Calvin Brown, who spoke during the “All Things Are Possible” event held in the O’Keeffe Auditorium. “The only way we keep Black History Month relevant is by continuing to learn and educate ourselves. Thank God for the people in the past who made so many sacrifices to pave the way for an easier life for us today.”

The event also included musical selections, reflections from MGHers, as well as an opening prayer by Rev. Daphne B.
Noyes, of the MGH Chaplaincy. “The story of God’s people of color, of all God’s people, stretches as far back as we can imagine, beyond the reach of any month or year, and reaches into the future as far as we can imagine, beyond the reach of any month or year, and still further,” Noyes said. “This month, we lift and embrace this history: its joys and sorrows, its mysteries and mistakes, its tragedies and triumphs, what has been, and what is yet to be.” 

Deborah Washington, RN, PhD, director of the MGH Diversity Program, told those in attendance that an important reason for hosting such events is to reflect upon the past in order to ensure that history does not repeat itself. “We will not allow what happened to the black culture to happen to anyone else because we know that there are other cultures who are oppressed,” she said.

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