TUC Snapshots: "What Does Black History Month Mean to You?"

Black History Month

Page Hersey, EdD
Assistant Professor/Program Chair of the Single Subject and Multiple Subject Programs, Graduate School of Education

Pichaya Promsatit, Master of Science in Medical Health Sciences student
College of Osteopathic Medicine

Gayle Cummings

Gayle Cummings, PsyDc, MPH
Program Director of the Public Health Program

Even though African Americans are an important part of the fabric of this country, we have never been fully embraced and recognized for our contributions – historical and present. This recognition is important for African Americans for obvious reasons and equally important for mainstream society; as we need to ensure that Black people are not seen as or considered to be second class citizens and  are deserving of all of the benefits that American Society has to offer. Like many immigrants, African Americans have helped build and shape this country in a dynamic way. It would be great if we didn’t have to set aside deliberate time to acknowledge this in the month of February, but until we get to the place where American history is inclusive and racism is a eradicated – we have to continue to educate ourselves and our communities.

Jazmine Mayfield

Jazmine Mayfield, Vice President of the Joint MSPAS/MPH Class of 2020

Black History Month is a time in which I reflect on the contributions and sacrifices made by African Americans in pursuit of liberty. While acknowledging the accomplishments of African Americans, I’m mindful of the journey that still lies ahead. I take responsibility for continuing the legacy of African Americans by helping others to succeed. I’m proud of my heritage and will continue to contribute through mentorship and service. Black History Month reminds me to “pause” and be empowered by the history of African Americans in my pursuit of equality and excellence in this generation.

Corey Meshack, Graduate School of Education Class of 2018

Black History month means excellence. As a Black man, it is an opportunity to explore my own history that is often rewritten or lost. It is an opportunity to learn more about my culture and the academic excellence of Black people. It also gives me a chance to educated Non-Black peers and to help defeat negative stereotypes.

Melissa Pearce, DO
Assistant Professor & Vice Chair of the OMM Department, College of Osteopathic Medicine
Charles Clements, MD, MPH
Clinical Coordinator of the Joint MSPAS/MPH Program
H. Eduardo Velasco

H. Eduardo Velasco, MD, PhD, MSc, PsyDc, MPH
Associate Dean for Preclinical Education and Professor, College of Osteopathic Medicine

My earliest memories of Black History go back fifty years ago. It was 1968 and I was living with my family in my small home town in Mexico, when my father told me a story about Reverend Martin Luther King, an extraordinary man who was leading a peaceful revolution to advance the rights of black people in the US. “He is the Gandhi of America” my father would say. A few months later, Reverend King was killed but my dad said he would “live forever” and free people from oppression in the US and the world. My dad’s voice would become deeper and louder when telling me about him. So, when I was a child, I thought that Reverend King was some kind of immortal superhero. Later that year, my dad and I were watching the Olympic Games on live TV when we saw John Carlos and Tommy Smith do the Black Power salute. My father said that this remarkable athletic feat and its powerful message were also the legacy of Reverend King. Many times throughout my childhood years I would ask my dad to tell me the story of Superhero King and the Black Champions. For me, Black History Month brings back vibrant childhood memories of my dad telling me the story of these superheroes with fantastic powers.

Josie Hunt

Josie Hunt, MSPAS, PA-C, MPH
Assistant Professor, Joint MSPAS/MPH Program

For me, it is another opportunity to celebrate the contributions of African-American men and women who have come before me and recognize and remember their accomplishments in history, including efforts to promote and fight for justice and equality. It also serves as encouragement for me to keep striving for positive changes in my community. It’s my hope that we celebrate and learn from these important figures in our history not only during certain months of the year, but continuously.

Clipper Young

Clipper Young, PharmD, MPH, CDE, BC-ADM
Assistant Professor, College of Osteopathic Medicine

To me, Black History Month means a way to appreciate the diversity in our community and also a way to come together to achieve something bigger. Diversity is what makes the United States of America unique, and we see a representation of this uniqueness here in Solano County. From the numerous times reaching out to the various spots within the boundaries of this County through MOBEC, we have served quite a few medically underserved communities and have identified the needs of such communities. The African American community in Solano County is surely a priority for us to keep reaching out to for delivering prediabetes/diabetes screening, bringing the awareness of the condition to where it is needed, and referring residents to structured educational programs to broaden their understanding of this preventable and largely treatable condition.