WOEMA Honors Black History Month 

This month, the JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion) Committee invites you to join WOEMA as we celebrate Black History Month, an annual commemoration of achievements by African Americans and a time to recognize their central role in US history.

In the United States, the population of Black or African American alone or in combination is over 49 million. And 33.7% of employed Black population age 16 and older works in management, business, science and arts occupations in 2021.

The 2023 theme for Black History month “Inspiring Change,” celebrates the contributions of African Americans to overcoming racial inequities and promoting opportunities for equal advancement within the Black community.

                “ History, Despite it’s wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but faced with courage, need not be lived again”- Maya Angelou

In commemorating Black History Month, we highlight several pioneering individuals with ties to public health or public service:

Dr. Kizzmekia “Kizzy” Corbett - co-developed the COVID-19 Moderna vaccine with her team at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) at age 34

 Dr. Ted Love- President and CEO of Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT),  the company that developed the first FDA-approved drug- Oxbryta-  targeting the underlying cause of sickle cell disease rather than just its symptoms.

 Dr. Mae Jemison was the first African American woman to travel into space in 1992.

James McCune Smith was the first African-American to earn a medical degree and practice medicine in the United States.

Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler was the first African-American woman to earn a medical degree.

Charles Richard Drew was a physician, researcher, and surgeon who revolutionized our understanding of blood plasma.

Alfred Day Hershey, PhD., geneticist, became the first African-American to share a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He received the award for his research on the replication and genetic structure of viruses.

Dr. William Augustus Hinton developed the Hinton Test for diagnosing syphilis in Boston, MA, and later developed an improved version, the Hinton-Davies Test, in 1931.

Daniel Hale Williams founded the first black-owned hospital in America and performed the world's first successful heart surgery.

Dr. Louis T. Wright, a pioneer in clinical antibiotic research, developed the intradermal injection technique for vaccinating soldiers against smallpox.