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In 1963, more than 200,000 people gathered at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to hear the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King deliver his historic “I Have a Dream” address.
Fifty years later, Dr. King’s words and actions still resonated with and inspired many BWHers who gathered at the Bornstein Amphitheater to celebrate his legacy earlier this month.
“The Brigham is committed to educating the community, and I firmly believe this education will lead us to the more equitable society Dr. Martin Luther King so eloquently spoke of,” said BWH President Betsy Nabel, MD.
Sponsored by Partners HealthCare and the BWH chapter of Association of Multicultural Members of Partners (AMMP), the event featured keynote speaker Boston Public Schools Superintendent Carol Johnson. She spoke about the history of Boston’s public schools, including their successes and challenges, as well as their partnership with BWH through the Center for Community Health and Health Equity’s Student Success Jobs Program.
“The work that we do and the work you do on a daily basis often intersect as we try to address disparities in education and health care,” said Johnson, who oversees 128 schools within the system. “Today we must ask ourselves, ‘What are our hopes and dreams for our children?’ We must dream again with Dr. King’s dream in mind, and we must remember that our children represent 100 percent of our future.”
During the event, two BWHers were presented with an award for their dedication to making a difference in the community. Emergency Medicine physician Christian Arbelaez, MD, MPH, and Pulmonary Division program coordinator Jacqueline Rodriguez-Louis, MPH, MEd, were recognized as this year’s Greater Boston YMCA Achievers. The award, which is sponsored by YMCA Boston, recognizes the professional and community-based achievements of African-American, Hispanic/Latino, South Asian and other minority professionals throughout the Boston area.
An ED physician and disaster relief volunteer, Arbelaez is also the faculty director of the Center for Faculty Development and Diversity’s Office of Multicultural Careers, which focuses on the recruitment and retention of under-represented minorities at BWH.
As a link to the local community, Rodriguez-Louis brings specialized asthma care and education to Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center and Brookside Community Health Center. She also develops and administers public health and continuing education programs for clinicians and other allied health professionals.
Six additional non-Brigham Partners HealthCare employees were selected as 2013 YMCA Achievers.