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Becoming a Mental Health Ally: Reducing Stigma, Breaking Barriers, and Improving Access to Care

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For more information or to register CLICK HERE.


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Planting the Seed for Medicine: Changing the Face of Medicine and STEM

Crystal EmeryHailed as “inspiring,” Crystal R. Emery’s documentary Black Women in Medicine shines the spotlight on the tenacious women who have succeeded against all odds in the male-dominated medical field. The Massachusetts premiere of the film will take place Saturday, May 6, at Wellesley College. The film showing is a part of a program running between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. that is presented by the Greater Boston Diva Docs, a vibrant collective of female physicians of African descent.

The day will include a screening and discussion of the film, led by Emery, followed by three workshops, “Building Bridges: The Power of the Sisterhood,” on exploring how to create bonds between Black and White women in medical professions; “From Conversation to Action,” laying out effective steps to create systemic changes in the medical field and beyond; and “Recruitment and Retention,” to inform the practices of medical-school staff with recruitment and retention duties.

Changing the Face of STEM is a national campaign designed by Emery to encourage women and young people of color to pursue careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). It is an extension of both the film, which recently aired on public television, and of a need
to drastically increase the numbers of Blacks in the STEM fields. Currently, fewer than two percent of physicians in the U.S. are African-American women.

book coverAgainst All Odds: Black Women in Medicine, Emery’s biographical photo-essay book profiling more than 100 spectacular physicians, is a companion piece to the film and is used in the campaign, which brings stars of STEM, including doctors, to schools and colleges as well as community groups across the country-areas where African-Americans are severely underrepresented. At Wellesley, Emery will be joined by Drs. Alice Coombs, Clara Jones, Sharon Marable, Nancy Oriol, Karen Morris-Priester and Ramona Tascoe.

image001Emery, a quadriplegic, has triumphed over two chronic diseases to become an outspoken voice on the intersection between race, gender and disability. She founded URU The Right To Be, Inc., in 1995 to challenge hearts and minds through the arts. Emery’s work has been recognized by the Congressional Black Caucus with the Health Brain Trust Award in Journalism.

The event, which includes Q&A and book signing, takes place at Wellesley College’s Diana Chapman Walsh Alumnae Hall Auditorium, 106 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02481.

To RSVP, visit here. For more information on the event, call 781-283-2865. To find out more about Changing the Face of STEM, the book or the film, visit here.

The Rivers School Conservatory to Host Composer Matthew Aucoin for 39th Seminar on Contemporary Music for the Young

MatthewAucoinbyStevenLaxton1The Rivers School Conservatory presents its 39th Annual Seminar on Contemporary Music for the Young on Friday, April 7th through Sunday, April 9th in Weston, Massachusetts.

The Contemporary Seminar was founded in 1978 to address the need of young performers and general audiences to hear, play, and learn the music of their time. Each seminar’s programming is truly unique. Pieces are performed only once, so that repertoire composed within the last 25 years is constantly being explored. To date, the seminar has presented 2,771 new pieces from more than 1,601 composers, 599 premieres, and 164 commissioned works.

This year’s featured composer is Matthew Aucoin, an alumni of The Rivers School Conservatory. Aucoin is currently Artist-in-Residence at the Los Angeles Opera as both a conductor and composer. His works have been performed by Yo-Yo Ma, Boston’s A Far Cry, American Repertory Theater, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Metropolitan Opera, Alabama Symphony, LA Chamber Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, and more. Aucoin is a graduate of Harvard College and studied piano, theory, and composition at The Rivers School Conservatory.

For this special occasion he composed “Finery Forge,” a work for two pianists, which will receive its world premiere on Sunday, April 9th by two RSC piano students. Aucoin commented on his inspiration for this composition:

“A finery forge is a massive hearth in which iron is refined … I see the piano as a kind of forge for music: the modern concert grand is an industrial-strength machine, a crucible-like behemoth of interlocking parts, filled with hammers intended to strike musical sparks out of their strings. In short, it’s a finery forge. This shiny black wood-and-metal monster is capable of astonishing refinement when it’s in good hands. But those “good hands” must themselves undergo a crucible of musical training if they want to wrest refined sounds out of the forge.”

The weekend of concerts, composition workshops, informal receptions, and composer meet-and-greets, takes place at The Rivers School Conservatory, 333 Winter Street, Weston, MA. Nearly 75 composers will be featured; many local composers attend and offer remarks about their music before the performances.
Tickets and complete schedule information available at www.riversschoolconservatory.org.