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Exhibit and Website Highlight the Vital Role of Blacks at Johns Hopkins

May 7, 2012
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An exhibit designed to recognize and publicize the crucial role that black students, faculty and staff have played in the rich history of The Johns Hopkins University has opened on the Homewood campus in Charles Village and will circulate among the various Johns Hopkins campuses through fall.

Called “The Indispensable Role of Blacks at Johns Hopkins,” the freestanding display and set of window decals pay tribute to 50 people, past and present, whose professional and personal achievements have brought honor to the institution. Through compelling and inspiring personal stories and photographs, the exhibit highlights how the history of these illustrious individuals – separately and as a group – is inextricably entwined with that of Johns Hopkins.

“This exhibit represents just one way to emphasize the wonderful, vibrant diversity of this community – now and throughout our history,” said Ronald L. Daniels, president of The Johns Hopkins University.

Co-sponsored by Daniels, Johns Hopkins External Affairs and Development and the Johns Hopkins University Black Faculty and Staff Association, the exhibit is supported by a website which includes brief narratives of the individuals spotlighted in the exhibit.

Included are, among others, Vivien Thomas, the surgical technician who in the 1940s developed the procedures used to treat so-called “blue baby” syndrome; Benjamin Carson, the pioneering neurosurgeon and a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient; Percy A. Pierre, the first black student to earn a doctorate in electrical engineering at Johns Hopkins (1967); and Minnie Hargow, an employee of Johns Hopkins for more than 60 years who started work in the campus cafeteria in 1947 and was assistant to the president when she retired in 2007.

The exhibit is on display this month in buildings across the Homewood campus, including in Mason Hall and at the Milton S. Eisenhower Library. On June 15, it will move to the Glass Pavilion as part of the BFSA’s Juneteenth celebration. From June 17 to the 30, it will travel to the Anne and Mike Armstrong Medical Education Building on the East Baltimore medical campus. Later this summer, the Applied Physics Lab near Laurel and the School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C. will host it. And in the fall, students, faculty, staff and visitors to The School of Nursing, The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School and the Bloomberg School of Public Health will have a chance to enjoy it. (Please consult the website for details as to exact location and date.)

“My hope is that this exhibit will show the indispensable role that blacks have had at Johns Hopkins in every way and every form, from custodial staff to trustees, physicians and attorneys,” said Debbie Savage, IT manager in the Office of Student Technology Services at Homewood and a BFSA member.

Savage says that the website will grow over time as the inspiring stories of more people are added. (Additions to the collection will be considered each spring, she said.)

For more information, visit: http://bfsa.jhu.edu/exhibit/.


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