Oscar nominated film 'Hidden Figures' inspires celebration of African American female physicians

The Center for Black Women’s Wellness hosts fundraising event to recognize the achievements of Atlanta female physicians and the legacy of Rebecca Lee Crumpler
On the heels of celebrating the historical contributions of black women who helped win the space race as told in the Oscar nominated film “Hidden Figures,” the Center for Black Women’s Wellness shines the light on the legacy of the first African American female physician — Rebecca Lee Crumpler — this Black History Month. On Feb. 26th, CBWW will host an honoring ceremony and networking reception to celebrate the life and contributions of Rebecca Lee Crumpler, who helped pave the way for future generations of African American women to practice medicine. Taking place at the Morehouse School of Medicine Center for Primary Care, the event will also recognize the contributions of founding members of the Rebecca Lee Society of Women In Medicine organization, which was founded in 1989. The organization was established to uphold the Rebecca Lee legacy by continuing efforts to breakthrough barriers in the field of medicine. Proceeds from this event will help to expand the clinical facility of CBWW, which has met the comprehensive health and wellness needs of Atlanta’s underserved women and their families for nearly 30 years.
Similar to the story of the 3 African-American women who overcame great adversity while helping NASA launch astronaut John Glenn into orbit, as told in the film Hidden Figures, Crumpler serves as the guiding inspiration to women physicians for overcoming the adversity faced when becoming the first African American female doctor in the United States in 1864. According to the article “Celebrating Rebecca Lee Crumpler, first African-American woman physician” by Dr. Howard Markel, during the time when Crumpler studied medicine, many of her white male counterparts complained that women lacked the physical strength to practice medicine and insisted that not only were women incapable of mastering a medical curriculum, but the topics taught were inappropriate for their “sensitive and delicate nature.” Crumpler not only defied this thinking by becoming the first African American female doctor but she went on to practice medicine for more than 20 years and authored A Book of Medical Discourses in Two Parts. Markel’s article further states that this book, which may well be the first medical text by an African-American author, is dedicated “to mothers, nurses, and all who may desire to mitigate the afflictions of the human race.”
“Thanks to the life and contributions of Rebecca Lee Crumpler, organizations such as the Center for Black Women’s Wellness can draw inspiration from her dedication to the health and well-being of the black community,” says Jemea Dorsey, CEO of the Center for Black Women’s Wellness. “We’re proud to be known as a valuable resource in Atlanta and to meet the health needs of thousands of underserved African American women and their families annually. Like Rebecca Lee, CBWW is dedicated to ensuring that the highest quality of care is made available to everyone and by all those qualified for the job — no matter their race nor gender.”
Convened to continue the legacy of Rebecca Lee Crumpler, founding members of the Rebecca Lee Society of Women in Medicine organization will also be recognized by CBWW and organized for a commemorative photograph opportunity at the ceremony, along with all present-day female physicians in attendance. Additionally, the unveiling of an original painting by artist Dianna Shannon Young entitled In Her Legacy will be presented and auctioned to the highest bidder. This vibrant artwork colorfully depicts a group of beautiful African American female physicians clad in lab coats and stethoscopes while elevated above the image of Rebecca Lee Crumpler. VIP ticket purchasers can take home a limited edition print of In Her Legacy, an $85 value. All proceeds from the event will benefit CBWW’s plans to expand their clinical facility to meet the needs of more than 6,000 women annually.
General and VIP admission tickets are available to purchase at cbwwrls.eventbrite.com. To learn more about the Center for Black Women’s Wellness, please visit www.cbww.org. For Press access and interview opportunities with Jemea Dorsey, contact Lakeeia Smith, lsmith@brainchildassociates.com.

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