Black History Month 2021 - SHTM Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Black History Month Sankofa and Black Creativity

Opening Remarks from our DEI Director, Robbye Kinkade

Please view here (Access Passcode: u.4!RJ6w)


February 3, 2021, 1:00 – 2:20 PM
Webinar: Stony Brook University Black History Month Opening Ceremony

Dr. Julieanna L. Richardson, Founder and Executive Director, The HistoryMakers Oral History Video Collection 
Register in advance HERE

February 11, 2021, 5:30 - 6:30 PM
Minorities and Mental Health

The School of Health Technology and Management is pleased to continue the celebration of Black History Month by addressing a very important topic for the Black community – mental health.  Please join us for a panel discussion on minorities and mental health.  Our panelists will be Anne Marie Montijo, LCSW, Sheri-Ann Best, LCSW, and Jarvis Watson, EdD.

Discussing mental health needs may often be stigmatized by some members of the Black community despite evidence which supports the need for such services.  According to recent studies, the rates of mental illnesses in African Americans are similar with those of the general population. However, disparities exist in regard to mental health care services. African Americans often receive poorer quality of care and lack access to culturally competent care. Only one-in-three African Americans who need mental health care receive it. In addition, compared with non-Hispanic whites, African Americans with any mental illness have lower rates of any mental health service use including prescription medications and outpatient services, but higher use of inpatient services. Compared with whites, African Americans are less likely to receive guideline-consistent care, less frequently included in research, and more likely to use emergency rooms or primary care (rather than mental health specialists). Source: SAMHSA, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

For event recording/transcription, please click here

February 25, 2021, 5:30 - 6:45 PM
SHTM Black History Month Closing Ceremony:  The Black Community and Resistance to the COVID-19 Vaccine

The School of Health Technology and Management is pleased to continue the celebration of Black History Month by addressing a very important topic for the Black community – fears about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

Join us as we welcome Dr. Jedan Phillips, MD, FAAFP as he discusses the current disproportionality in rates for black people in terms of infection with COVID-19, poorer health outcomes, and deaths. Dr. Phillips will engage participants in answering questions about the virus as well as to challenge participants to think about the question - where do we go from here?

For event recording/transcription, please click here

Spotlight on Black History


Mae Jemison

Mae C. Jemison (1956 - )

Mae C. Jemison is an American astronaut and physician who, on June 4, 1987, became the first African American woman to be admitted into NASA’s astronaut training program. On September 12, 1992, Jemison finally flew into space with six other astronauts aboard the Endeavour on mission STS47, becoming the first African American woman in space. In recognition of her accomplishments, Jemison has received several awards and honorary doctorates. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Stanford University in 1977. Upon graduation, she entered Cornell University Medical College and, during her years there, found time to expand her horizons by studying in Cuba and Kenya and working at a Cambodian refugee camp in Thailand. After Jemison obtained her M.D. in 1981, she interned at Los Angeles County/University of Southern California Medical Center and later worked as a general practitioner. In 1985, Jemison made a career change and decided to follow a dream she had nurtured for a long time: In October, she applied for admission to NASA's astronaut training program. The Challenger disaster of January 1986 delayed the selection process, but when she reapplied a year later, Jemison was one of the 15 candidates chosen from a field of about 2,000.

On June 4, 1987, Jemison became the first African American woman to be admitted into the NASA astronaut training program. After more than a year of training, she became the first African American woman astronaut, earning the title of science mission specialist — a job that would make her responsible for conducting crew-related scientific experiments on the space shuttle. When Jemison finally flew into space on September 12, 1992, with six other astronauts aboard the Endeavour on mission STS47, she became the first African American woman in space.

In recognition of her accomplishments, Jemison received a number of accolades, including several honorary doctorates, the 1988 Essence Science and Technology Award, the Ebony Black Achievement Award in 1992 and a Montgomery Fellowship from Dartmouth College in 1993. She was also named Gamma Sigma Gamma Woman of the Year in 1990. In 1992, the Mae C. Jemison Academy, an alternative public school in Detroit, Michigan, was named after her.




Kizzmekia Corbett

Dr. Kizzmekia S. Corbett (1986 - )

Dr. Kizzmekia S. Corbett is a research fellow and the scientific lead for the Coronavirus Vaccines & Immunopathogenesis Team at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Vaccine Research Center (VRC). She received a B.S. in Biological Sciences, with a secondary major in Sociology, in 2008 from the University of Maryland – Baltimore County, where she was a Meyerhoff Scholar and an NIH undergraduate scholar. She then enrolled at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she obtained her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology in 2014. A viral immunologist by training, Dr. Corbett uses her expertise to propel novel vaccine development for pandemic preparedness. Appointed to the VRC in 2014, her work focuses on developing novel coronavirus vaccines, including mRNA-1273, a leading candidate vaccine against the virus that causes COVID-19. In response to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, the vaccine concept incorporated in mRNA-1273 was designed by Dr. Corbett’s team from viral sequence data and rapidly deployed to industry partner, Moderna, Inc., for U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved Phase 1 clinical trial, which unprecedently began only 66 days from the viral sequence release.

Stony Brook University SHTM Connection: In 2005, Dr. Corbett was a summer intern in Dr. Gloria Viboud's lab where she studied Yersinia pseudotuberculosis pathogenesis.

From American Society for Microbiology





Shirley Chisholm

Shirley Chisholm (1924 - 2005)

Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm was the first African American woman in Congress (1968) and the first woman and African American to seek the nomination for president of the United States from one of the two major political parties (1972). Born in Brooklyn, New York, on November 30, 1924, Chisholm was the oldest of four daughters to immigrant parents Charles St. Hill, a factory worker from Guyana, and Ruby Seale St. Hill, a seamstress from Barbados. She graduated from Brooklyn Girls’ High in 1942 and from Brooklyn College cum laude in 1946, where she won prizes on the debate team. She earned a master’s degree from Columbia University in early childhood education in 1951. Ever aware of racial and gender inequality, she joined local chapters of the League of Women Voters, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Urban League, as well as the Democratic Party club in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. In 1964, Chisholm ran for and became the second African American in the New York State Legislature. After court-ordered redistricting created a new, heavily Democratic, district in her neighborhood, in 1968 Chisholm sought—and won—a seat in Congress. Chisholm introduced more than 50 pieces of legislation and championed racial and gender equality, the plight of the poor, and ending the Vietnam War. She was a co-founder of the National Women's Political Caucus in 1971, and in 1977 became the first Black woman and second woman ever to serve on the powerful House Rules Committee. Discrimination followed Chisholm’s quest for the 1972 Democratic Party presidential nomination. She was blocked from participating in televised primary debates, and after taking legal action, was permitted to make just one speech. She entered 12 primaries and garnered 152 of the delegates’ votes (10% of the total)—despite an under-financed campaign. Chisholm retired from Congress in 1983. She taught at Mount Holyoke College and co-founded the National Political Congress of Black Women. 

From National Women’s History Museum