Medical Staff Pulse Newsletter

Physician news

Paul Song, MD, named state insurance agency's first visiting fellow

Debraj "Raj" Mukherjee, MD, MPH, wins Leadership Award from AMA Foundation

» Read more

Meetings and events

Grand rounds

Click here to view upcoming grand rounds.

Upcoming CME conferences

Click below to view a complete list of all scheduled Continuing Medical Education conferences.

Medical Staff CME Newsletter - January 2013 (PDF)

Meetings and Events

Grand Rounds

Click here to view upcoming grand rounds.

Upcoming CME Conferences

Click below to view a complete list of all scheduled Continuing Medical Education conferences.

CME Newsletter - February 2013 (PDF)

Share Your News

Won any awards or had an article accepted for publication? Share your news about professional achievements and other items of interest.

Click here to share your news

Civil rights activist Myrlie Evers-Williams delivers stirring remarks at MLK Day Celebration

Myrlie Evers-Williams captivated the audience with her perspective on the fight for civil rights.

In 1966, Keith Black was in the fifth grade when he attended his first integrated school in Alabama. Without the sacrifices made by civil rights leaders such as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Medgar Evers, as well as U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren's efforts in the Brown v. Board of Education decision, which banned segregation in public schools, his narrative might be different.

Black, MD, professor and chair of Cedars-Sinai's Department of Neurosurgery, pointed this out last week to a packed Harvey Morse Auditorium as one of the speakers at Cedars-Sinai's 11th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration.

"Would I have had the pleasure of knowing Chief Justice Earl Warren's grandson as a colleague and friend, Cedars-Sinai's former chief of staff Willie Brien? Likely, but maybe not," he said before introducing William W. Brien, MD.

In addition to Black and Brien, introductory remarks were given by Chairman of the Board Lawrence B. Platt; and President & CEO Thomas M. Priselac. The Rev. Peggy M. Kelley, a staff member of Cedars-Sinai's Spiritual Care Department, provided the invocation.

Keynote speaker Myrlie Evers-Williams captivated the audience with her perspective of both how far our nation has come – and also how far we have yet to go – in the fight for civil rights for all.

As she made her way to the podium, a black-and-white picture of King serving as a backdrop, Evers-Williams was met by a standing ovation. She first spoke highly of Cedars-Sinai's "forward-moving" efforts in medicine and humanity.

Evers-Williams, the widow of Medgar Evers, who was murdered in 1963 for attempting to integrate the University of Mississippi, then focused on America's civil rights progress over the past 50 years. This year marks the 50th anniversary of King's "I Have a Dream" speech, and of the death of Medgar Evers. Both men were assassinated at the height of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.

Evers-Williams recalled that she was scheduled to speak at the 1963 March on Washington, but a traffic jam prevented her from being present when King delivered his famous speech.

Just days after her presentation at Cedars-Sinai, Evers-Williams delivered the invocation at the second inaugural of President Barack Obama on Monday. She is the first layperson and the first woman to give the special prayer at a presidential inauguration.

"Miracles do happen, my friends," said Evers-Williams, referring to the inauguration invitation. Speaking of King: "The man we honor today, he was a miracle."

Evers-Williams also highlighted the importance of bridging the generation gap, especially as it relates to the struggles of people of color.

Her speech was followed by Tribe of Judah, a group of singers striving to deliver a message of hope. Led by Grammy Award-nominated director Jonathan Grier, Tribe of Judah (pictured at left) performed several uplifting songs.

Afterward, Brendell Stewart, a nursing care technician at Cedars-Sinai who was in the audience, called Evers-Williams' speech "marvelous." In particular, she said, her message on bridging the generational gaps was spot on.

"Our youth, their generation, they want to hear these things, they want to be involved," Stewart said. "Bridging that gap might require our generation meeting their generation halfway."

Cedars-Sinai's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration is co-sponsored by the medical center and the medical staff. This year's event co-chairs were Keith L. Black, MD, and Joel M. Geiderman, MD. Geiderman is co-chair of the Emergency Department. In addition to being professor and chair of neurosurgery, Black is director of the Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute and director of the Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. Brain Tumor Center.