Two guest speakers brought to campus by the Cushing Institute for 21st Century Leadership shared new perspectives with the assembled students and faculty, inspiring reflection and discussion.
On November 13, internationally renowned photojournalist Jane Evelyn Atwood, a graduate of Cushing's Class of 1966, was honored with the 2009 Cushing Academy Distinguished Alumna Award. In a gripping and thought-provoking presentation at Assembly, Ms. Atwood shared her photographs and stories from her work, among them her Women in Prison series, which spanned ten years and nine countries and which included photographs which spurred prison investigations by Amnesty International. In his introduction, Dr. Tracy noted the moral content of her compelling work, and the passion and commitment behind her work were evident throughout her presentation. Ms. Atwood followed her Assembly talk by meeting with the Cushing Scholars for a luncheon discussion and by visiting with students in art classes. Based in Paris since 1971, Ms. Atwood now joins inaugural honoree Bette Davis, Class of 1926 (2008) as Cushing alumni honored by the Academy for their extraordinary achievements.
On November 16, Paula Mulqueen, RN, co-founder of Forward in Health (FIH), spoke to Cushing students about the organization's ongoing work to provide basic healthcare and restore human dignity to the children, families and elders of Haiti's poorest communities. Based in Gardner, Massachusetts, the non-profit organization provides medical care, medical supplies and humanitarian service in the Les Cayes region of Haiti. FIH schedules several medical and humanitarian visits to Haiti throughout the year.
Working as a team, volunteers from the Massachusetts medical and professional community, and from national high schools and colleges staff the medical clinic, provide basic health care and visit with children in the local orphanage and elders home. FIH has been so successful in its mission, that they are now building a permanent medical clinic in the central town of Fonde Fred.
Forward in Health works to address the illness, disease and culture of poverty outlined in Cushing's 2009 all-school summer reading book: Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man who Would Cure the World, by Tracy Kidder.
Students who are interested in exploring service opportunities with Forward in Health may contact the Cushing Institute for 21st Century Leadership for more information.