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by Aman Singh Das | July 14, 2009


Yesterday, President Barack Obama nominated an Alabama native as the new surgeon general, pending approval of course.  The nomination promises to add another mentor, sorely needed for minority students and rising professionals, to a group of mentors that has shrunk considerably since the economy went recessionary. The nominee is Dr. Regina Benjamin who, if approved, will hold a high-level position in the Obama administration and will be responsible for improving health care in America, a sore and highly debatable subject for many years now. 

An African-American, Dr. Benjamin has a long history of working in rural areas and is a known humanitarian for her work. She is also the recipient of several awards including the 1998 Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights. In 2002, she was named president of the Alabama Medical Association, making her “the first African-American woman to be president of a state medical society in the United States”.

Yes, it is endearing to see her occupy this position and with the current recession having taken a toll on minorities, with much having been written here on this blog, besides other mainstream media about differential unemployment rates for African-Americans and Hispanics, figures like Dr. Benjamin, then, will be responsible for motivating and encouraging generations of African-Americans and women to be go-getters.

Many accomplished mentors have been lost to this recession but nominations like Dr. Benjamin and Ms. Sotomayor promise to keep the torch lit. All we have to do to keep them strong is ensure that as women, we mentor younger women in their careers, we as employers ensure training and professional advancement opportunities for everyone and as employees that we take every opportunity and accomplish what we set out to achieve.

-Posted by Danielle Correa


Filed Under: CSR