Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Minorities in Boston

I just returned from a session for minority students at Harvard Medical School where I joined my Harvard hospital CEO colleagues in addressing the students on the topic of "Why Boston? Building your Career in Academic Medicine in Boston." You might be interested to know that, decades ago, Boston was considered one of the friendliest places in America for African Americans to live and advance professionally. Unfortunately, that reputation was tarnished greatly in the 1970s and 1980s (thanks in part to this image) when the controversy over school busing to integrate the public schools divided the city in so many ways. More recently, civic, academic, and corporate leaders in the region have reached out in an attempt to revive that older, more tolerant and friendly view of the city.

A lovely moment in tonight's program was the presentation of an "Excellence in Mentoring Award" to Dr. Johnye Ballenger (seen here). Johnye is a instructor in pediatrics at Children's Hospital, and she has spent the last 20 years tutoring and mentoring HMS students. In accepting the award, she said to the students, "It has been my passion to be part of your lives," and received a standing ovation.

1 comment:

StudentGuyManPerson said...

Hopefully, I'll be among these Harvard students by this time next year. But, I do admit that I'm concerned about the reports of intolerance bordering on (or passing into) outright racism. I would really enjoy an acceptance letter from a Harvard business or medical school...*DayDream*