News from Upstate

January 31, 2011
Doretta Royer 315 464-4833

Upstate celebration of Black History Month begins Feb. 2

SYRACUSE, N.Y.— Upstate Medical University will recognize Mary Nelson of Upstate’s Department of Radiology for her work with area youth at a special opening ceremony for the 2011 celebration of Black History Month Wednesday, Feb. 2, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the lobby of the Campus Activities Building, 155 Elizabeth Blackwell St., Syracuse.

Nelson is the recipient of several awards at the local, state, and national levels, including the Post-Standard Achievement Award, National Council of Negro Women award, award recipient and appearance on “Live with Regis and Kelly,” the Francis Parks Woman of Distinction Award, and the New York State Harriet Tubman Award for founding the Mary Nelson Youth Center and for hosting her annual “Stop the Violence/Back-to-School” barbecue.

“Mary’s efforts to help Syracuse’s young citizens reach their full potential has led her to national prominence,” said Upstate President David R. Smith, M.D., who will offer opening remarks at the event. “Most recently, she has spearheaded grassroots efforts to create solutions to stem gang-related violence in Syracuse. We are proud to recognize her for her dedication and commitment to the youth of our community.”

At the event, Frank Fowler will deliver the keynote address “Raise Your Hands, Raise Your Voices.” Fowler, police chief and CEO for the Syracuse Police Department, will be presented with a certificate for his leadership role in Syracuse.

Opening ceremonies will also include traditional African-American musical selections and a soul food lunch. A reading of a letter written in 1863 by Civil War Master-Sergeant Lewis Douglass, son of Frederick Douglass, offering an account of the Battle of Fort Wagner near Charleston, will also be featured. Douglass wrote the letter to his fiance, Amelia Loguen, sister of Sarah Loguen Fraser, a 1876 graduate of Upstate Medical University (then Syracuse University College of Medicine.) The theme of the national 2011 Black History month celebration is African-Americans in the Civil War.

Also scheduled for the Black History Month celebration are:

• “Sarah Loguen Fraser Day: Passing the Torch” Wednesday, Feb. 16, at noon in the Medical Alumni Auditorium in Weiskotten Hall, 766 Irving Ave., Syracuse. Luvenia Cowart, R.N., Ed.D., professor of practice at the College of Human Ecology at Syracuse University, will discuss the Genesis Health Project Network. Launched in 2004, the Genesis Project is part of a large minority health initiative in partnership with the College of Human Ecology to address health disparities in African Americans. The presentation of a scholarship to Upstate medical student Dalanda Jalloh will also be featured.

• “Be the Match: Marrow Donor Drive” Wednesday, Feb. 16, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the ninth floor lobby of Weiskotten Hall, 766 Irving Ave., Syracuse. Attendees will have the opportunity to join the national marrow donor registry.

• Student National Medical Association’s Annual Dinner Dance Friday, Feb. 25 at the Palace Theater, 2384 James Street in Eastwood. Proceeds will support Upstate’s Barbara Hamilton Scholarship Fund for Underrepresented Students. Black tie or traditional African dress is encouraged.

Black History Month events are open to all members of the Upstate community, family and friends. The events are sponsored and supported by Upstate’s Office of Diversity and Affirmative Action, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Office of the President, Faculty and Staff Association for Diversity, Medical Alumni Association, Employee/Student Health, Campus Activities Governing Board and the Student National Medical Association.

For more information about the opening ceremony and other Black History Month events, contact the Office of Diversity at 315-464-5234.

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