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January 31, 2014
Doretta Royer 315 464-4833

Opening ceremony Feb. 5 begins Upstate’s Black History Month celebration

SYRACUSE, N.Y.— The Rev. Phil M. Turner, pastor of Bethany Baptist Church in Syracuse, who developed a radio ministry and tutoring program, a fellowship hall and an annual festival highlighting African American heritage, will offer the keynote address at the opening ceremony of Upstate Medical University’s Black History Month celebration, to be held Wednesday, Feb. 5 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Campus Activities Building (C.A.B.) The Rev. Turner’s address will include a reflection on 2014 as the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act.

The opening ceremony also will include a tribute to the late Ronald R. Young, former vice president for Public and Governmental Affairs at Upstate, and will honor the Rev. John Carter, pastor of Abundant Life Church in Syracuse.

Upstate is honoring Carter for his leadership in the creation of the Vision Center, located at 1221 South Salina St. in Syracuse, and for his partnership with Upstate on the Synergy/Mercy Works Program, which identifies college students from the Syracuse community for internships at Upstate Medical University and other businesses.

“Mr. Young was a compassionate, generous community leader, and a friend of many years,” said Maxine Thompson, assistant vice president for the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, who will give the tribute to Young, who died Jan 15.

Entertainment and a heart healthy soul food lunch with vegetarian options will complete the event that is free and open to the Upstate Medical University community.

“The Rev. Phil M. Turner and Chevelle Jones-Moore will sing and Stephanie Reynolds will read poetry, and of course, we’ll offer our popular, free soul food with a healthy twist by Chef Bleu,” said Thompson. “We will also hear from Rev. Turner, whose experiences have proven to be great resources for his relevant and effective ministry, which combines life lessons with spiritual gifts and the word of God,” she said.

Upstate’s month-long series of Black History Month events will celebrate the 50th anniversaries of the Civil Rights Act, the opening of Upstate’s Community and Downtown campuses, the portrait and street naming in honor of Elizabeth Blackwell, MD, who became the first woman in America to receive her medical degree. She earned her degree in 1849 from Upstate’s predecessor, Geneva Medical College.

All Black History Month events are free and open to the public unless otherwise stated. In addition to the opening ceremony, the events include:

• Presentation: Don’t Call Me Sickler: Putting a Face on a Misunderstood
Friday, Feb. 7, noon to 1 p.m., 3509 Setnor Academic Building.
Children with sickle cell disease face inordinate challenges across multiple domains. The discussion will address the impact of sickle cell disease on both the child who has the disease and the child’s family as well as ethical issues involved in the care of patients with sickle cell disease. Presenters: Kristi L. Griffin, MSEd, and Karen Leshko, MSW, Upstate’s Center for Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders.

• Walk the Talk Diversity event: “At the River I Stand” Movie and Panel Discussion.
Monday, Feb. 10, noon to 1:30 p.m. Medical Alumni Auditorium, Weiskotten Hall.
A movie tribute to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

• Elizabeth Blackwell Day
Wednesday, Feb. 12, noon. Medical Alumni Auditorium, Weiskotten Hall (presentation); atrium, Setnor Academic Building (reception)
Keynote address by Yvonne Maddox, Ph.D., deputy director, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

• A Taste of Black History at Community. Movie: At the River I Stand. Free soul food desserts.
Tuesday, Feb. 18, 3 to 5 p.m. Classrooms A & B, Community Campus, 4900 Broad Rd., Syracuse.
Meet and greet members of Upstate’s President’s Diversity Council, enjoy soulful desserts and the showing of  the movie “At the River I Stand.”

• Sarah Loguen Fraser Day: (date to be announced).
Lecture and recognition of scholarship recipient Krista Tookhan, Class of 2015, College of Medicine.

• Student National Medical Association (SNMA) Dinner Dance

Saturday, Feb. 22, 7 p.m. to midnight. Drumlins Country Club, 800 Nottingham Rd., Syracuse. Tickets are $12 for students; $15 for general public. For information and to purchase tickets, contact Alvin Roberts,, 464-8855.

Upstate’s Black History Month events are supported and coordinated by Upstate Medical University’s Faculty and Staff Association for Diversity (FSAD), Office of Multicultural Affairs, Student National Medical Association, Medical Alumni Office, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and Office of the President. For more information about the events, call 464-5234 or 464-5433.

Caption: Entertainment by Chevelle-Jones Moore and the Rev. Phil Turner, will be part of the Upstate Medical University’s Black History Month celebration kick off.

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