Filmmaker and Activist Crystal R. Emery Secures Capitol Hill Screening of Black Women in Medicine
Nationwide “Changing The Face of STEM” Initiative Reaches Members of Congress With Film Screening and Panel Discussion on June 22nd at Capitol Hill
Noted independent filmmaker, author and activist, Crystal R. Emery has been invited to Washington D.C. for a Congressional screening and panel discussion surrounding her film Black Women in Medicine, which has captured nationwide attention. The documentary, featuring tenacious trailblazer women who succeeded against the odds including Dr. Joycelyn Elders, the first African-American Surgeon General.” The informative and thought-provoking event, called “You Can’t Be What You Can’t See,” will take place on June 22, 2017 at the National Academy of Sciences building and is presented in conjunction with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sen. Christopher Murphy, (D-CT), Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL), Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), and Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL).
Held in conjunction with the National Academy of Medicine, “You Can’t Be What You Can’t See” will bring together thought leaders from the fields of STEM, equity and inclusion, economics and policymakers. Moderating the panel will be Veronica Nelson, Executive Director of Advancing Minority Interests in Engineering (AMIE). Participants will include Dr. Eugene DeLoatch, Founding Dean/Retired, Clarence Mitchell School of Engineering, Morgan State University, Sarah EchoHawk, CEO, American Indian Science and Engineering Society, Dr. Jennifer Ellis,
Written, directed, and produced by Emery, Black Women in Medicine addresses the nation-wide demographic disparity of minority physicians while paying tribute to pioneers in the field and showcasing recent graduates. The centerpiece of her groundbreaking “Changing The Face of STEM initiative. Emery developed the film as a way to illustrate how only four percent of all U.S. doctors are Black – and only two percent of them are women. The multi-faceted initiative campaign was created to stimulate growth in gender, diversity, and inclusion within the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
“I am deeply honored to have the film and mission acknowledged by members of Congress and welcome this opportunity to discuss the need for more diversity and inclusion in medicine and other key STEM fields,” said Crystal R. Emery, Director of Black Women in Medicine. “My hope is that this will be a vital first step in empowering younger children to see that these careers are an option for them, and increase the percentage of women of color within the STEM industries.”
Emery herself has triumphed over two chronic diseases as a quadriplegic to become an outspoken voice on the intersection between race, gender and disability. She is the founder and CEO of URU The Right To Be, Inc., a nonprofit content production company that tackles social justice issues via film, theatre, publishing and other arts-based initiatives, and her work has been recognized by the Congressional Black Caucus with the Health Brain Trust Award in Journalism.
The Changing the Face of STEM Initiative has been a major success since its 2015 launch when it reached doctors, educators and thought leaders throughout the U.S. through a series of screenings of Black Women in Medicine that included informative question-and-answer sessions with physicians featured in the film, along with a signing of Against All Odds: Celebrating Black Women in Medicine, the biographical photo essay book penned by Emery. In 2016, the initiative’s far-reaching education tour targeted minority communities as it sought to build a legacy for increasing access to health care in the U.S. Moving forward, the main focus of “Changing the Face of STEM” will be on expanding the educational tour featuring film screenings, workshops and books for participants, to 20 cities in 2017 and 30 cities in 2018. The Initiative will also emphasize and address the lack of diversity and inclusion of Latino physicians in medicine.
About Black Women in Medicine
Black Women in Medicine is the first documentary to explore the history, contemporary issues, and future possibilities of African American women physicians by featuring the diverse voices of young medical students, practicing physicians, and elder trailblazers all of whom share intimate stories of what it means to be a Black Woman Doctor in America. This groundbreaking film includes rarely seen documentation of Black women practicing medicine during critical operations, emergency room urgent care, and community wellness sessions as well as in depth original interviews and compelling archival images. In telling the stories of women who have persevered in medical fields in part by overcoming barriers linked to race and gender, “Black Women in Medicine” provides audiences with a vivid and stunning experience of the triumph of the human spirit.
About the Changing the Face of STEM Initiative
“Changing the Face of STEM” was founded to inspire children to study and seek careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics despite the institutionalized lack of racial and gender equity. The goal is to foster communication and understanding among the diverse groups and communities impacted by these issues. Key features of the CFS campaign comprises the feature documentary, Black Women in Medicine that recently completed a theatrical release and its national broadcast debut presented by American Public Television; Against All Odds: Celebrating Black Women in Medicine, a 264-page book of biographical photo-essays, picks up where the documentary leaves off, honoring the lives of powerful Black women doctors beyond those featured in the film; upcoming book Present and Unaccounted For: The Architects of the Modern World now in production; as well as a national education and engagement tour.