MEMPHIS, Tenn. — St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital placed a new exhibit at the National Civil Rights Museum to celebrate Black History Month, highlighting the hospital’s 60-year continued legacy and commitment to lessening racial inequality gaps in healthcare.
The limited time exhibit will be available from February 2 to March 8. As an act of honoring Black History Month, the exhibit features Dr. Rudolph Jackson, one of the first Black doctors at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, as well as three people who individually represent the institution's founding principles.
The exhibit tells the story of how St. Jude and ALSAC acted as pioneers of the civil rights movement by advocating for fairness, making recognizable efforts to achieve an equitable society for Blacks.
“Just as the Lorraine was one of the few places in the 1960s where African Americans were welcomed, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital opened its doors to all at the height of formal segregation”, president of the National Civil Rights Museum, Russel Wigginton said. “We look forward to the greater understanding this exhibit will create about the intertwined histories of Memphis and St. Jude.”
St. Jude and ALSAC, the hospital’s fundraising and awareness organization, historically played a critical role in integrating health care, being the first fully integrated hospital in the South in 1962 to provide treatment and care for African American children diagnosed with cancer and other diseases.
According to Richard C. Shadyac Jr., the President and CEO of ALSAC, the exhibit allows St. Jude to show the community how the hospital works to level the field by providing people of all backgrounds equal access to quality healthcare.
“We are grateful for the chance to partner with [the Civil Rights Museum] this esteemed institution in our home city of Memphis to spotlight the roles St. Jude and ALSAC have played in equalizing access to healthcare regardless of race, creed or ability to pay.”
St. Jude's reports that its continued commitment to research has been incredibly successful.
According to St. Jude, their research has increased the average cancer survival rate for children diagnosed with cancer to more than 80%.