The State Historical Society of Missouri will host free virtual events exploring Black Health and Wellness – the Black History Month theme announced by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) for 2022.


On February 17 at 6:30 p.m. CST, Wilma Calvert, UMSL associate professor of nursing, and AJ Medlock, SHSMO senior archivist, will moderate a panel discussion on “The Role of Black Nurse Activists in Improving the Health of St. Louis.” Presented in partnership with the Black Nurses Association of Greater St. Louis, panelists include Shuron Jones and Brittany Ferrell.


Shuron Jones is a history instructor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) and a PhD candidate at St. Louis University. Jones will discuss the 1970s work of nurse Zenobia Thompson in opposing the closure of Homer G. Phillips Hospital by the City of St. Louis. Brittany Ferrell is a registered nurse, activist, and UMSL College of Nursing graduate. Guided by her participation in the 2014 Ferguson protests and her time as a labor and delivery nurse, Ferrell will discuss her current work to improve outcomes of Black maternal and infant health.


On February 22 at 3 p.m. CST, Joan Stack, SHSMO art curator, will present “Exploring Black Health and Wellness Through a Collection of Historical Images.” Offered in partnership with MU Libraries, Stack will examine artworks and photographs and detail how these works highlight the experiences of Black Americans related to health care and wellness throughout the 20th century. This presentation includes an accompanying exhibition that is on display in the colonnade cases of Ellis Library on the University of Missouri–Columbia campus from February 7 to May 23, 2022.


Both events are free to the public and will be held virtually using Zoom. Registration is available on the Society’s website at


As the premier center for the study of Missouri state and local history, SHSMO hosts many digital resources for those studying the experiences of Black Americans in Missouri. Past presentations of the African American Experience in Missouri Lecture Series are freely available online. The African American Experience Research Guide connects website visitors to the lecture series, podcast episodes, digital photographs, scholarly articles, oral histories, and other resources for exploring the lives of Black Americans in Missouri. Visit the guide at

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