The Reckoning Is Here
As America grapples with a history of injustice and in light of the recent attention given to the Black Lives Matter movement, a historical and educational reckoning is occurring that has been decades in the making. Northwestern alumni and faculty are part of a growing chorus of teachers, students and lawmakers reminding us that Black history — and the histories of other marginalized communities — are as American as apple pie and should be accurately and contextually taught to all.
Unapologetic About Racial Justice
Ashley O’Shay’s documentary Unapologetic follows the work of two young Black women who organize for Black political, economic and social liberation. The feature-length documentary premiered at the BlackStar Film Festival in Philadelphia last summer.
First-time director Wendy Levine Sachs co-directed and produced Surge, a feature documentary film that follows three female candidates who fought to flip their districts from red to blue in the last midterm election.
Seeing her own family members treated unfairly in health care settings gave Melissa Simon ’06 the resolve to become a doctor and change health care from the inside. Today, she combines research and community outreach to reduce gaps in health care services for medically underserved communities.
The Write Path
Through award-winning mystery novels and popular TV scripts, Attica Locke tells stories of Black Americans’ experiences that probe the inequities of class and race.
Doctor Becomes Patient
Emergency medicine physician and former Wildcats offensive lineman Ryan Padgett ’97 was one of the first healthcare workers in Washington state to test positive for COVID-19. His harrowing story has become both a symbol of hope and a cautionary tale about the dangers of the global pandemic.
Rethinking Dinner Theater
Broadway actor Adam Kantor ’08 co-founded StoryCourse, which mixes food and theater, creating “a multisensory, delicious, profound, moving experience,” says Kantor. He and his StoryCourse team are now developing at-home interactive theatrical culinary experiences.
Silver Linings in a Pandemic
When New York's Montefiore Medical Center admitted its first COVID-19 patient on March 11, Albert Einstein School of Medicine professor of medicine Kenneth J. Schaefle ’90 was pulled in alongside many others to help with the COVID response.
Northwestern gave Bill Healy the skills and the confidence to pursue a career as a journalist. It also gave him an opportunity to return to the classroom, where he teaches students to find genuine emotion that cuts to the core of our shared humanity.
Championing Mental Health
As communities across Illinois respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and brace for its long-term effects, mental health and wellness are central to the recovery strategy. Rachel Bhagwat ’12 and Anthony Guerrero ’14, ’18 MS are on the team leading that effort at NAMI Chicago, an affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.