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Our Family Is Crazy
Larry's Message

2.4.21
By: Larry Lopardo
Date: February 4, 2021

The Power of Black History

By Larry Lopardo, Chief Legal Officer, The Avamere Family of Companies

I firmly believe to celebrate Black history is to celebrate American history, while earnestly striving for a future of equality and unity. When historian Carter G. Woodson established this holiday, it started off as a week with two objectives: recognition and importance. As the recognition expanded from a week to a month — from one state to an entire nation — one mission remained the same: “The teaching of Black history is essential to ensure the physical and intellectual survival of the race, within the broader society.” — Carter G. Woodson

Today, this statement and ultimate mission couldn’t ring truer.

For me, the celebration of Black Americans and Black culture is close to my heart, as I reflect on the contributions of the community from icons and educators, in varying industries such as healthcare, sports, and government. I appreciate the contributions of Black Americans showing courage against extreme adversity and celebrations of joy despite oppression and hardship. One of the more subtle but equally important parts of history is publicly recognizing these inspiring achievements so our children can see someone who looks like them achieve greatness and believe they too can be successful.

I cannot honestly say I was thinking about these things as I grew up a fan of Motown legends Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, The Pointer Sisters, and The Supremes. However, these emotions and expressions about the human condition were clearly resonating within me. We choose music and art that speaks to us. My adolescent life and my current adulthood would be far poorer without the creations of these Black musicians.

While I recognize their direct imprint on my personal life, the Black community has paved the way in many industries beyond arts and entertainment. As I write this, I cannot help but to think about our healthcare industry — the gaps we have yet to fill to ensure health equity in diverse communities — but also the contributions of the Black community to medical innovation.

Distinctively, I think about Henrietta Lacks, a Virginia-born African American woman who died in
1951 at the age of 31 from cervical cancer. During her hospital visits, Lacks’ doctors extracted
samples of her cells to determine a diagnosis. What they did not realize was that her cells were
different from any patient they had studied, as they would double every 20+ hours. This discovery,
even past her death, has innovated the medical industry, as her cells have been used to test the
effects of drugs and toxins on cancer cells and contributed to the development of the polio vaccine.
Americans assessment of Black history has made progress. While we will never forget the
inequities and injustices experienced by the Black community, we’re determined to continue
celebrating the progress we’ve made together. We celebrate Black individuals and leaders stepping into the highest offices, indicating a potentially more inclusive future. And in our own small part of the world within the Avamere Family of Companies, we challenge ourselves to create more room and opportunities for all — that way we can create a history worth celebrating in our future, too.


Larry's Message 2.4.21

By: Larry Lopardo
Date: February 4, 2021


The Power of Black History

By Larry Lopardo, Chief Legal Officer, The Avamere Family of Companies

I firmly believe to celebrate Black history is to celebrate American history, while earnestly striving for a future of equality and unity. When historian Carter G. Woodson established this holiday, it started off as a week with two objectives: recognition and importance. As the recognition expanded from a week to a month — from one state to an entire nation — one mission remained the same: “The teaching of Black history is essential to ensure the physical and intellectual survival of the race, within the broader society.” — Carter G. Woodson

Today, this statement and ultimate mission couldn’t ring truer.

For me, the celebration of Black Americans and Black culture is close to my heart, as I reflect on the contributions of the community from icons and educators, in varying industries such as healthcare, sports, and government. I appreciate the contributions of Black Americans showing courage against extreme adversity and celebrations of joy despite oppression and hardship. One of the more subtle but equally important parts of history is publicly recognizing these inspiring achievements so our children can see someone who looks like them achieve greatness and believe they too can be successful.

I cannot honestly say I was thinking about these things as I grew up a fan of Motown legends Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, The Pointer Sisters, and The Supremes. However, these emotions and expressions about the human condition were clearly resonating within me. We choose music and art that speaks to us. My adolescent life and my current adulthood would be far poorer without the creations of these Black musicians.

While I recognize their direct imprint on my personal life, the Black community has paved the way in many industries beyond arts and entertainment. As I write this, I cannot help but to think about our healthcare industry — the gaps we have yet to fill to ensure health equity in diverse communities — but also the contributions of the Black community to medical innovation.

Distinctively, I think about Henrietta Lacks, a Virginia-born African American woman who died in
1951 at the age of 31 from cervical cancer. During her hospital visits, Lacks’ doctors extracted
samples of her cells to determine a diagnosis. What they did not realize was that her cells were
different from any patient they had studied, as they would double every 20+ hours. This discovery,
even past her death, has innovated the medical industry, as her cells have been used to test the
effects of drugs and toxins on cancer cells and contributed to the development of the polio vaccine.
Americans assessment of Black history has made progress. While we will never forget the
inequities and injustices experienced by the Black community, we’re determined to continue
celebrating the progress we’ve made together. We celebrate Black individuals and leaders stepping into the highest offices, indicating a potentially more inclusive future. And in our own small part of the world within the Avamere Family of Companies, we challenge ourselves to create more room and opportunities for all — that way we can create a history worth celebrating in our future, too.

© 2019 Avamere Family of Companies
© 2019 Avamere Family of Companies
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© 2019 Avamere Family of Companies