eNewsChannels: Changing the Face of Medicine

NEWS: Award-winning documentary producer and author Crystal Emery is launching a new campaign and initiative called “Changing the Face of Medicine.” Its inaugural event will feature a book signing of her biographical photo essay entitled “Against All Odds: Celebrating Black Women in Medicine,” which will be held on Tuesday, December 1, 2015.

For more than 30 years, Emery has been engaged with art and social justice initiatives grounded in the fight for equality and education. Her nonprofit, URU The Right To Be, strives to foster communication and understanding among diverse racial, social and economic groups about the issues affecting these groups and our community by using the arts to demonstrate that such communication and understanding is possible.

Join us on December 1 at 5 p.m. at the SEIU Penthouse at 330 W 42nd Street in New York City for a rare opportunity to hear from seven Black female doctors, who will share their insights on how the face of medicine can be changed. The nine doctors include: Barbara Ross-Lee, Icilma Fergus, Joycelyn Elders, Lynne Holden, Ruth Reid-Thornton, Velma Scantlebury-White, Ayanna Poindexter, Jay-Sheree Allen and Donna Mendes. In the words of Dr. Joycelyn Elders, featured in an accompanying film, “You can’t be what you can’t see.”

In this book, “Against All Odds,” Crystal Emery has captured and celebrated the advances of Black women in medicine in order to empower the next generation. Despite decades of advances, the number of Black female physicians has remained at levels that are shockingly low: approximately 2 percent.

“We desperately need role models to come forward and share their stories, so that our children can consider careers in the healthcare professions. We need to reach a point where a patient isn’t surprised to see a Black female doctor is their heart surgeon, or their primary care physician, or the expert consulted on their orthopedic surgery,” said Dr. Claudia Thomas, the first Black female orthopedic surgeon. “Crystal Emery has made those role models come forward and heralds their success, so that a 10-year old Black girl today can envision herself as the physician.”

“We who have been wounded by these healthcare disparities – physically, psychologically, and spiritually – are coming together to model a new vision of healthcare and one that includes people who are dark-skinned, or coffee-colored, or with beautiful African-American features. The healthcare world awaits us,” said Dr. Karen Morris-Priester.

Although this event is free to the public, it is a fundraiser for URU The Right To Be.

The book may be pre-ordered at:

About Changing the Face of Medicine:
Changing the Face of Medicine is a groundbreaking multimedia documentary project and educational initiative that celebrates the history, status and future of women of color in medicine. Cultivated through the lens of artist, producer, and director, Crystal Emery, Changing the Face of Medicine follows the journey of Black women doctors from inequality to excellence. By introducing their stories to the greater medical community and our society at large, the project works as an agent of social change to inspire a new generation of doctors of all races and genders.

Built from the achievements, intelligence, and grace of over 100 Black women doctors, the project has been described by filmmaker Bill Duke as an “educational and artistic tour de force.” Information:

For information on URU The Right To Be, visit:

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