Library hosting national premier of ‘Black Men in White Coats’


XENIA — The Greene County Public Library is hosting the national premier of a new documentary, Black Men in White Coats, with a three-day screening Sunday, Feb. 21 through Tuesday, Feb. 23, followed by a panel discussion on Wednesday, Feb. 24.

Founded in 2013, the Black Men in White Coats organization’s mission is to increase the number of black men in the field of medicine by exposure, inspiration, and mentoring, according to a release from the library. The new documentary chronicles the journey of black men in medicine and, as well, explores the issues facing black boys in pursuing a career in medicine.

Karl Colón, executive director of the Greene County Public Library, said the library is honored to host such an important and timely topic.

“This event is a centerpiece of the Library’s celebration of Black History Month,” said Colón. “Greene County has a rich history of African Americans making incredible contributions to our community and society that continues to this day. We’re proud to document that history and, as well, support the ongoing impact our citizens provide.”

The panel will be moderated by longtime Yellow Springs educator, John Gudgel, former principal of YSHS and founder of the 365 Project. Joining Gudgel is a panel of four professionals representing both medicine and education: Dr. Gabe Lofton, Superintendent, of Xenia Community Schools; Dr. Karen Mathews, medical director at Central State University; Dr. Christopher Holloway, a family medicine practitioner affiliated with Kettering Health Network’s Soin Medical Center; and Wright State University’s Boonshoft School of Medicine senior, Joshua Madden, who is heading into his medical residency this year.

“One of the more meaningful aspects of this panel is our range of experience around the topic of black men pursuing a career in and practicing medicine,” said Gudgel. “I’ve mentored students in this effort and know that our panelists have similar experiences.”

Mathews has made a career not only in medicine but in working with students in her role as director of Central State’s Student Health Center.

“I’ve had the opportunity to watch Black Men in White Coats leading up to our panel discussion,” Mathews said. “This is such an important film not only as an inspiration to black young men everywhere, but to black medical professionals. It shows us, through some incredible stories, a path to affecting positive change in our communities and across the profession.”

For more information and to register for the event, visit the Greene County Public Library’s website at www.greenelibrary.info/black-history.