Local health advocates and community leaders gathered at Simmons College last Saturday to address the problem of racial disparities in clinical research, discuss ways to close the gap and educate the public about how more accurate ethnic representation can lead to better health outcomes for all.
The Annual Workshops to Advance Clinical Research Education (AWARE) are held by the Center for Information & Study on Clinical Research Participation. Held in metropolitan areas, the educational programs are free, open to the public and intended to shed some light on the clinical research process.
According to the center, surveys show that many people believe the process is important, but most — including those in minority communities — don’t know much about it.
Drawing on his own inspiring life as an example of how one young person can make a difference, legendary civil rights leader Hollis Watkins, 66, spoke to a group of Boston teachers at Old South Meeting House last Saturday about how to engage today’s youth in pressing social issues.
When he was 19 years old, Watkins became the first student in Mississippi to become a voting rights activist for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He spent most of the 1960s being arrested and jailed for organizing African Americans in the South to vote.
“We must emphasize to our youth today that the civil rights movement was run by the youth,” Watkins said. “When I joined SNCC, I was among the older members at the age of 19. It is up to the young people today to keep the momentum going.”
This year marks the 200th anniversary of the U.S. abolition of the transatlantic slave trade, a bicentennial that has some blacks and whites trying to reconcile their respective places in American society.
Katrina Browne is one of them.
The filmmaker, who is white, thought that because her family was from Rhode Island, there was no way that her ancestors could have been involved in slavery. But when she read a book given to her by her grandmother, Browne learned that her family was not only involved, but were the largest slave trading family in the United States.
Where the United States government sees danger, some American activists see opportunity.
For nearly the last five decades, the relationship between Cuba and America has been contentious. But now that an ailing Fidel Castro has ceded power to his brother Raúl, American activists say they want to change the dynamic between the two countries, largely by denouncing what they believe to be outdated U.S. policies toward the communist-aligned nation.