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Birthing Liberation

Ameenah Shakir, an assistant professor of African American history at Florida A&M University, will present a lecture examining Helen Dickens' leadership of the Pan American Medical Women's Alliance (PAMWA), which was comprised of doctors from Peru, Mexico, Haiti, Puerto Rico and the United States. Dickens served as PAMWA president from 1968-1973. Under her leadership, PAMWA included a sustained effort to increase membership of women of African descent. Specifically, her research questions how differing notions of race and ethnicity informed women's medical professional organizations across transnational boundaries. It will conclude with the effects of PAMWA on women's minority medical school enrollment.

Ameenah Shakir, Assistant Professor of African American History at Florida A&M University

Broadly, Shakir's research explores the intersection of race, health and gender. Her book project, "Rattling the Collective Consciousness: Dr. Helen Dickens and Health Activism in Post War America," argues that black physicians used medical professionalization as a space and place for activism during the Jim Crow and post Civil Rights eras. In 2016-17, she received a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship. She has presented at several academic conferences, served as a panelist and was recently feature on the C-SPAN Lectures in History series.

The lecture is free and open to the public. It is is sponsored by the Department of History, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, Africana Studies program, Division of Diversity, Equity and InclusionLGBTQ+ Center, Center for Black Culture and Research, Center for Women and Gender Studies and WVU Humanities Center.