Crisis in Black Education Highlighted during Fort Detrick Black History Month Observance
The U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases hosted a Black History Month observance at the Community Activities Center on Fort Detrick, Maryland, Feb. 23
"The Crisis in Black Education" is the Black History Month theme for 2017. The theme focuses on the crucial role of education in the history of African-Americans.
Maj. Gen. Barbara R. Holcomb, commanding general of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and Fort Detrick, provided opening remarks and greetings from U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen were read by his representative Julianna Albowicz.
Before he introduced the keynote speaker, USAMRIID Commander Thomas S. Bundt shared a few words.
"It is very fitting considering that this year's theme is focused on the topic of education," said Bundt. "Although black history has gained ground in school and university curricula since the late 20th century, there is still more work to do. We need to continue to promote our children's educational needs in order to grow as a Nation and a people. Supporting this effort is enhanced by the continued observance and support of this day by leaders from across the country."
Bundt then introduced Yvonne T. Maddox, Ph.D., vice president of the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, who spoke to a packed room about overcoming the crisis black education. Maddox is no stranger to the benefits of an education. She has a Bachelor of Science in biology from Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia, and a Ph.D. in physiology from Georgetown. Maddox shared that, despite growing up in the rural Virginia, her parents always supported her in her education.
"My parents both had high school degrees, and they were always there for me as I pursued my education and that made the difference," said Maddox.
Maddox then shared a moving talk about her thoughts on the crisis in black education.
Also during the ceremony, Fort Detrick Chaplain Michael Jeffries offered the invocation for the event; Frank Carter performed an original spoken word piece; and Spec. Michael Duetsch performed the National Anthem and an inspiration hymn.