As a part of Black History Month, Student Health Services (SHS) hosted a special viewing party for the movie, Miss Evers’ Boys. Along with this showing, a panel event was later held to discuss the film as well as important health information.
The film, Miss Evers’ Boys, is a fictional narrative based on the events of the Tuskegee Experiment that took place in 1932. This experiment revolved around a government-funded program that claimed African American males were going to be treated for syphilis. However, this study was more about experimentation rather than medical treatment.
This online event was hosted by SHS, Kean Counseling Center, and Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Collaboratively, these groups aimed to educate students on this important part of history and how it still holds an impact today. Additionally, they aimed to provide more information about syphilis and the importance of getting tested.
The movie screening took place on February 10, at 7 p.m. When logged onto Cougar Link, students could access the event and from there were given a link to the movie and provided with the log in information.
On the following day, beginning at 3 p.m., students were also invited to attend a panel and discussion with the host organizations to speak about the movie and the importance that it still holds today. The panel consisted of the following members of Kean’s Wellness Center:
- Taylor Williams, Moderator on behalf of Student Health Services
- Dr. Vidal Annan, Director of Kean Counseling Center
- Caroline Smith, Nurse Practitioner at Student Health Services
- Kristine Sparks, Nurse Practitioner at Student Health Services
- Marci Blaszka, Nurse Practitioner at Student Health Services
- Tamika Quick, Executive Director of Diversity Equity and Inclusion
This event began with the introductions of the panelists and was followed up with a discussion about the movie. Within this topic, they discussed the mistreatment of African American males, the actions of the doctors involved, and whether Nurse Evers, the main character, was a victim or a villain.
After discussing the events of the movie, the panel then delved into important health information about syphilis and how it is treated. Additionally, there was an in-depth conversation about COVID-19 and why many people, especially in the Black and Brown community, would be wary about receiving a vaccine.
The event was overall successful in informing students about African American history and the importance of health and testing. For students who want to be more involved during Black History Month, be sure to check out the upcoming events on Cougar Link from these organizations and more.