Instructor: Andrew Young and André Churchwell
Veteran civil rights leader and former Ambassador to the United Nations ANDREW YOUNG has been serving and shaping our country for over 50 years. Young was a close confidant to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and when he was elected to Congress in 1972, was the first African American elected from the South since Reconstruction. He then served as a two-term mayor of Atlanta from 1982-1990. In response to the historic turnout for the presidential election of 2020, state legislatures across the country have introduced a wave of voting legislation that will make it harder to vote. YOUNG helped to draft the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and will use his remarkable life experiences to look at the landscape of democracy and the need for federal legislation to ensure that each person maintains the right to vote. ANDRÉ CHURCHWELL, MD, the Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for Vanderbilt University, will guide and moderate this discussion with YOUNG, an icon across the decades of the Civil Rights Movement.
Andrew J. Young
Andrew J. Young has earned worldwide recognition as a pioneer in and champion of civil and human rights. Ambassador Young’s lifelong dedication to service is illustrated by his extensive leadership experience of over sixty-five years, serving as a member of Congress, African American U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Mayor of Atlanta, and ordained minister, among other positions.
During the 1960s, Young was a key strategist and negotiator during civil rights campaigns that led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Appointed as an Ambassador to the United Nations in 1977, Young negotiated an end to white-minority rule in Namibia and Zimbabwe and brought President Carter's emphasis on human rights to international diplomacy efforts. As two-term Mayor of Atlanta, Young brought in over 1,100 businesses, over 70 billion in foreign direct investments and generated over a million jobs.
Ambassador Young has received honorary degrees from more than 100 universities and colleges in the U.S. and abroad and has received various awards, including an Emmy Lifetime Achievement award in 2011 and the Dan Sweat Award in 2017. His portrait also became part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.
Ambassador Young also serves on a number of boards, including, but not limited to, the Martin Luther King Center for Non-Violent Social Change, Morehouse College, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State and Americas Mart. In 2003, he and his wife Carolyn McClain Young founded the Andrew J. Young Foundation to support and promote education, health, leadership and human rights in the U.S., Africa, and the Caribbean. Young currently serves as the Chairman of the Andrew J. Young Foundation.
In 2012, Young retired from GoodWorks International, LLC, after well over a decade of facilitating sustainable economic development in the business sectors of the Caribbean and Africa. Young was born in 1932 in New Orleans, and he currently lives in Atlanta with his wife, Carolyn McClain. He is also a father of three daughters and one son, a grandfather of nine and a great grandfather on one.
Dr. André L. Churchwell is the vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer for Vanderbilt University. He is the inaugural Levi Watkins, Jr., M.D. Chair, chief diversity officer for Vanderbilt University Medical Center and senior associate dean for diversity affairs in the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Churchwell is a Professor of Medicine (Cardiology), Professor of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, and Professor of Biomedical Engineering.
Churchwell graduated from the Vanderbilt School of Engineering magna cum laude in 1975. He won the Biomedical Engineering Student Program Award that same year. He received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1979 and later completed his internship, residency and cardiology fellowship at Emory University School of Medicine and affiliated hospitals in Atlanta. In addition, he was the first African American chief medical resident at Grady Memorial Hospital (1984–1985).
In 1986, while at Emory, he was also named Most Outstanding House Officer, made an honorary
Morehouse Medical School class member and he received a Harold Amos/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Minority Medical Faculty Development Award. With this award, working with his mentor, Don Giddens, Ph.D., Chair of Aeronautical Engineering at Georgia Tech, they studied coronary artery fluid mechanics and its role in atherogenesis.
While at Emory in 1987, Dr. Churchwell, along with Drs. Ajit Yoganathan, Robert Nerem, Donald Giddens, Robert Guyton, and Charles Hatcher, formed the core nucleus team from both Emory and Georgia Tech that led to the creation of the Emory-Georgia Tech Bioengineering Center. The result of these early efforts has led to many graduate and pool doctoral students of minority status in the field of biomedical engineering.
Churchwell received the J. Willis Hurst Award for Best Clinical Teacher in 1991 from Emory and in 2004 he was named the Emory University School of Medicine Resident Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award winner. For the past ten years he has been named one of the nation’s top cardiologists in “The Best Doctors in America.”
In 2005, he was named Walter R. Murray Jr. Distinguished Alumnus by the Association of Vanderbilt Black Alumni. The award recognizes lifetime achievements in personal, professional and community arenas.
In 2007, he was named the Associate Dean for Diversity in Graduate Medical Education (GME) and Faculty Affairs. Working with Dean Jeff Balser, Dr. Churchwell created a diversity plan that led to a rise in the percentage of underrepresented in medicine (URM) GME applicant pool from 9.5% in 2009 to 14% in 2017. With the diverse enrichment of the GME applicant pool, VUMC has experienced an increased % URM in its GME programs from 6.6% in 2008 to 11% in 2017. The actual impact of the success of our pipeline program is even more evident if you examine the salutary effect in the PGY1 or internship year–where in 2003 our % URM was only 7% and now, in 2019, it is 17%.
In 2010, he was awarded The Distinguished Alumnus Award of Vanderbilt University School of Engineering; and in 2011, along with his physician brothers Kevin and Keith, he received the nationally recognized Trumpet Award for Medicine.
He serves on many medical school committees including the Admission and Promotion Committees. In 2011, he was named Dean of Diversity for Undergraduate Medical Education to add to his current role in the Dean’s office. Dr. Churchwell and his team, building on the work of prior Associate Deans for Diversity has maintained that 20-25% of the entering Vanderbilt University Medical School class is of an underrepresented in medicine (URM) background. This effort has allowed us to sustain a diverse and rich learning environment where each student benefits from the experiences of students different from them by race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, geographic site of origin, etc.
In 2012 and 2013, The Vanderbilt University Organization of Black Graduate and Professional Students (OBGAPS) honored Dr. Churchwell with one of the organization’s first Distinguished Faculty Awards. He was also recognized with an American Registry Most Compassionate Doctor Award. From 2010-2013, he has been awarded the Professional Research Consultants’ Five-Star Excellence Award—Top 10% Nationally for “Excellent” Responses for Medical Specialty Services and Overall Quality. And in 2014, he was honored as one of the Top 15 Most Influential African American Medical Educators by Black Health Magazine.
Furthermore, he was elected in 2012 to serve as the southern representative for the Group on Diversity and Inclusion (GDI) for the AAMC (American Association of Medical Colleges). As a member of the GDI, he was involved in creating a best practice manual for all diversity deans in medical schools to use as they build their programs. Since 2011, he has served on the Editorial Board of the Cardiovascular Engineering and Technology: A Journal of the Biomedical Engineering Society. In 2013, he helped create The Hurst-Logue-Wenger Cardiovascular Fellows Society (HLWCFS) of Emory University School of Medicine and was elected the first President of HLWCFS. And recently, in 2014, he was named one of the “Top 15 Most Influential African-American Health Educators” by Black Health Magazine.
From 2013 to 2015, he served on the Biomedical Engineering Society (BME) Diversity Committee. He offered and utilized his near thirty year of experience in diversity and his academic connection to biomedical engineering research and education (MIDP Program and VUSE-BME Senior Design Class), to assist the committee in its efforts in diversity and inclusion. It was a satisfying and rewarding experience as he was able to meet like-minded experts with a commitment to work force diversity and the importance of a diverse class for broad and unique learning opportunities. In addition, he has served as an alumnus consultant for the Chair of Biomedical Engineering at VUSE for over five years. He also serves on the VUSE-BME Advisory Board that offers opinions, ideas, and recommendations to the BME Chair. He has served as a mentor for many minority BME undergraduates–offering them information on career path, specific research opportunities; and a host of other recommendations.
In 2015, he was appointed to the Board of Trustees for Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee, where he serves as the Governance Committee Director and offering best practices on leadership and board diversity practices. In 2016, he was named to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) for his work in biomedical engineering education. And in 2017, he received the Vanderbilt University Pioneer in Diversity Award.
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