What would Maggie L. Walker do?
During times like these when so many people in our community and around the globe are struggling with illness, financial stress, loneliness, or other challenges, you may feel more motivated than ever to make a difference.
During the Great Influenza pandemic of 1918, our school’s accomplished namesake, Maggie L. Walker, made a difference by speaking out against the unhealthy conditions that African American patients faced in Richmond’s hospitals (which were segregated by race at that time). As Dr. Elizabeth Outka, associate professor at the University of Richmond, shared with journalist Harry Kollatz, Jr.,
“at the height of the Great Influenza here, the indomitable Maggie Walker, an African-American entrepreneur and teacher, led a group to John Marshall High to volunteer. They found that black flu patients were in the windowless basement. Walker and company marched straight to the governor’s mansion to demand assistance. The Baker School — closed due to the pandemic — became available. Outka says, “At Baker, African-American doctors and nurses ran a fantastic emergency hospital.”
– as quoted in “The Big Sick,” Richmond Magazine, 6 July 2018
What might you do to make a difference – in RVA or more broadly – during this pandemic? One thing you can do with your fellow Dragons – without leaving your home – is to participate in Giving Back Together Tuesdays from 3:30 to 5pm each Tuesday tomorrow through June 2nd.
During this time together online, you may transcribe historic documents or write letters/postcards to residents of two care facilities in RVA. To express interest in participating (which doesn’t commit you to attending, but does let me know who to admit from the Zoom waiting room), go to https://bit.ly/givingbacktogether