Honoring Black Heroes of Human Service
This month, Judson Center is honored to celebrate Black History Month and recognize the incredible contribution of African Americans to our community and our country. There are many individuals to highlight. However, this year we want to elevate the stories of those who have helped contribute to the history of our services at Judson Center.
Below are just a few individuals who have advanced the way we serve children, adults and families in child welfare, autism services, physical health, mental health, and disability services. These human service heroes have laid the groundwork for the way we care for our community and its members.
Meet Dr. Alvin Poussaint, the first black psychiatrist to draw attention to autism in the black community. Art of Autism Board Member, Dr. Angel Durr, shared Dr. Poussaint’s story in a blog detailing the intersection of autism and Black History Month. In 1972, Poussaint wrote about his experience with autistic children and the ways that black families lacked access to important resources. His work was an important first step for families to begin receiving the support and autism services they needed.
Advancements continue to be made to address disparities of autism diagnosis and treatment. For example, Black Applied Behavioral Analysts Inc. is a group working to reduce barriers for African American students, professionals, and parents in the autism community. Their work educates and increases diversity, equity and inclusion in the field of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA).
Behavioral Health Services
Meet Bebe Moore Campbell, an accomplished author, teacher and advocate who championed mental health care within the black community. Campbell made safe places for black individuals to address their mental health and receive the support and care they needed. Subsequently, she brought to light the struggles of African Americans to break the stigma around receiving treatment, a reality faced by many, especially black men, who struggle with mental health. Campbell’s contribution has been so substantial that Congress formally recognizes the month of June as National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month due to her pioneering efforts. Click to learn more about Bebe Moore Campbell and other black pioneers in mental health!
Child & Family Services
Meet George Edmund Haynes, the first African American to receive a Ph.D. from Columbia. Haynes created one of the first programs educating and training black social workers to better serve children and families in need. The course of his work advanced the inclusion of black leaders in the field of social work and higher education. Click to learn more about Haynes and other black heroes of child welfare.
Meet Bessie Blount, a genius and activist who paved the way for disability rights with her compassionate and selfless work. Blount was a nurse, a therapist and an accomplished inventor. In fact, she held the patent for one of the first automatic feeding designs created to serve disabled veterans. She fought for the inclusion and independence of those in the disabled community and designed with them in mind.
Still need another reason to love her contribution to history? After investing thousands of her own money into her work, Bessie Blount gave away her design for free to help more people! She said she saw it as her contribution to humanity as a black woman. Click to learn about more contributions of black leaders to the disability rights movement!
Meet Rebecca Lee Crumpler, the first African-American female physician in the United States. She practiced medicine in Boston and even wrote a book highlighting some of her medical advice. Throughout her career she fought racism and sexism to serve thousands of underserved people who had been denied quality health care services. Click to learn more about Rebecca Lee Crumpler and other African American heroes of health.
Today and every day, we celebrate their achievements, honor their memory, and strive to continue their work of helping those in need succeed. Because of their contribution, creativity, genius, and selfless care, Judson Center is able to serve thousands every year in the fields they helped pioneer.
By Hannah Gregory