Charis welcomes Dr. Uché Blackstock in conversation with Elaine Welteroth for a discussion of Legacy: A Black Physician Reckons with Racism in Medicine, the rousing, captivating story of a Black physician, her career in medicine, and the deep inequities that still exist in the U.S. healthcare system. This event is co-hosted by the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History.
Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, it never occurred to Uché Blackstock and her twin sister, Oni, that they would be anything but physicians. In the 1980s, their mother headed an organization of Black women physicians, and for years the girls watched these fiercely intelligent women in white coats tend to their patients and neighbors, host community health fairs, cure ills, and save lives.
What Dr. Uché Blackstock did not understand as a child—or learn about at Harvard Medical School, where she and her sister had followed in their mother’s footsteps, making them the first Black mother-daughter legacies from the school—were the profound and long-standing systemic inequities that mean just 2 percent of all U.S. physicians today are Black women; the racist practices and policies that ensure Black Americans have far worse health outcomes than any other group in the country; and the flawed system that endangers the well-being of communities like theirs. As an ER physician, and later as a professor in academic medicine, Dr. Blackstock became profoundly aware of the systemic barriers that Black patients and physicians continue to face.
Legacy is a journey through the critical intersection of racism and healthcare. At once a searing indictment of our healthcare system, a generational family memoir, and a call to action, Legacy is Dr. Blackstock’s odyssey from child to medical student to practicing physician—to finally seizing her own power as a health equity advocate against the backdrop of the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Dr. Uché Blackstock is a physician and thought leader on bias and racism in healthcare. She appears on air regularly as an MSNBC medical contributor and is the founder and CEO of Advancing Health Equity, as well as a former associate professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine and the former faculty director for recruitment, retention, and inclusion in the Office of Diversity Affairs at NYU School of Medicine. Dr. Blackstock received both her undergraduate and medical degrees from Harvard University, making her and her twin sister, Oni, the first Black mother-daughter legacies from Harvard Medical School. Dr. Blackstock currently lives in her hometown of Brooklyn, New York, with her two school-age children.
Elaine Welteroth is an award-winning journalist, TV host, and author of the instant New York Times bestselling book "More Than Enough," which won the 2020 NAACP Image Award for outstanding literary work. At age 29, she was named the youngest editor-in-chief in Condè Nast’s history where under her leadership Teen Vogue evolved into a platform that elevates marginalized voices and amplifies political discourse. After spending more than a decade climbing the ranks of magazine journalism, Elaine can now be seen on television weekly doling out fashion industry advice as a judge on Bravo’s new "Project Runway.” Her MasterClass on redesigning your career debuted in 2021 and has helped thousands navigate career transitions. Now, her popular new advice column “Ask Elaine” appears in The Washington Post, exploring how to navigate pivots in life with more ease and less angst. In addition to The Washington Post, her writing appears in the New York Times, British Vogue and Time. She is a new mom living with her husband between L.A. and N.Y.C.
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