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Michelle B. Barnes Keynotes at UAMS Women's History Month Celebration

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By Spencer Watson

March 28, 2019 |

UAMS honored 36 phenomenal women from throughout the campus community at its annual National Women’s History Month celebration “Women of the World: Educating, Innovating, Serving.”

The event was sponsored by the Women’s History Planning Committee and the UAMS Center for Diversity Affairs and included a short program of featured speakers, entertainment by the UAMS South Asian Students for Healthcare, presentation of awards by Laura James, M.D., and Jan Shorey, M.D., and a lunch provided by RSVP Catering, a female-owned business, for all attendees.

“UAMS is filled with phenomenal women,” said UAMS Chancellor Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA, who noted that women make up over 70 percent of the UAMS workforce. “It is my pleasure to join all of you in celebrating some of these phenomenal women here today.”

Patterson thanked the honorees for their varied contributions to the mission of UAMS and noted that “it’s through your hard work that we, as the only academic medical center in Arkansas, are able to fulfill our mission for 3 million people here in the state who need us very much.”

Odette Woods, senior director of Diversity Affairs, who has chaired the planning committee behind the event for 10 years, joined the chancellor in celebrating the diversity represented by those nominated for and receiving an award.

Odette Woods welcoming attendees to the event.

“When we created the UAMS Phenomenal Woman program, we envisioned that these phenomenal women of various backgrounds, educational levels, socioeconomic levels, race, ethnicity, age, occupation, parental status, sexual orientation, abilities, religions and military status would represent diversity and inclusion at its best,” she said.

Keynote speaker Michelle B. Barnes, executive director and founder of the nonprofit Real Images, which uplifts women and young girls, spoke on the need to unite and work together despite the differences that might separate them.

“More often than not we hesitate to step out of our comfort zone and educate ourselves to love something or someone who is different from what we know,” she said. “I do honestly believe that if we listen to one another more than we try to convince one another, we will build better spaces for educating, innovating and serving our communities and families.”


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