Chicago AHEC Hosts Black Men in White Coats Screening for CPS Students & Teachers

On Friday, March 5th, the Chicago Area Health Education Center (Chicago AHEC) hosted a virtual screening of the Black Men in White Coats documentary for Chicago Public School (CPS) students and teachers with special guest Dr. LaMenta “Sweetie” Conway, CEO, I Am Abel Foundation. Black Men in White Coats (BMWC) is an organization created by Dr. Dale Okorodudu to increase the number of Black men in the field of medicine through exposure, inspiration, and mentoring. BMWC hosts youth summits across the U.S. in partnership with local organizations.

Dr. LaMenta Conway is the Deputy Chief of Medicine for the Illinois Department of Health. Dr. Conway and her team are responsible for the medical care of over 40,000 people in custody in the Illinois State Prisons. She was born and raised in Englewood and defied immeasurable odds to live out her childhood dream of becoming a doctor. Trained in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Illinois, she has celebrated over 22 years as a physician with most of her career teaching in top academic hospitals in the Midwest.

45 students attended the screening representing two high schools and one grade school from the CPS system. Health & Medicine Director of Workforce Programs, Sheronda Kimbrough, said, “The film provided students with critical information related to the role of systemic racism in the under-enrollment, access to, and persistence in medical school for students of color, more specifically Black men.” Her hope is that students of color walked away knowing the impact they can have in the lives of patients that look like them and live in their communities through the pursuit of a career as a medical doctor, as it is quite literally a matter of life and death.