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Julius Rosenwald awarded a fellowship to my father, Charles R. Drew, M.D., in 1932 when he was on the verge of dropping out of McGill Medical School. His father had been laid off as a carpet layer in Virginia due to the depression. In his letter of thanks for the fellowship my father said “It is my constant hope that I shall be able at some time to add some new thought, discover some new process or create something which will prevent or cure disease, alleviate suffering or give men a chance to live and thereby (I can) in part repay the debt which I am happy to acknowledge.” Spencie Love, One Blood, University of North Carolina Press, 1996, p. 116. Later, based on a thesis titled “Banked Blood” written for a Doctorate at Columbia, he was chosen as Medical Director of Blood for Britain, an emergency project to send liquid plasma to British soldiers on battlefields in France during World War II. . Based on that performance, the Red Cross called upon him to set up their first stored plasma Red Cross Blood Bank, a New York City program that became the model for blood collection all over the country. Spencie Love,16. Julius Rosenwald made prescient philanthropic investments in the education of African Americans to the lasting betterment of our nation, and in my father’s case, saving lives, still, across the world.
-Sylvia Drew Ivie, daughter of Dr. Charles R. Drew
To hear more about Dr. Charles R. Drew’s story, don’t forget to see Rosenwald, in theaters now. Click here to find a screening near you!
On August 26, Rosenwald opened at Martha’s Vineyard Film Center in Vineyard Haven, MA, starting it’s limited, four-screening run at the location. After the film, Aviva Kempner lead a discussion with Linda Levi (Great granddaughter of Julius Rosenwald) to a sold out crowd.
On Thursday night at the Strand Theater in Oak Bluff, Kempner showed the film and discussed it with Kenneth Mack (Harvard Law School), Lisa Jones (independent producer), and Joyce Ladner (SNCC, Howard University).
We are excited to announce a special screening of Rosenwald presented by The Jewish Historical Society! It will take place on Monday, August 31, 2015 from 7:45-10:00 PM at The Avalon Theatre (5612 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20015). Aviva Kempner will make pre-show remarks with Norris Dodson, who played basketball at the Thurgood Marshall YMCA and went on to become instrumental in helping restore the building. You can buy tickets here. Rosenwald will begin its commercial run at the Avalon this Friday, August 28th. For times and tickets, click here.
Although she could not be at the memorial, Aviva stopped to take the time to remember the late Julian Bond. In his memory, she threw flowers into the water at Fairmount Park. Before the second throwing of flowers, she ran into a lovely, recently engaged couple and others who were on a picnic and discussing local politics who were all touched at the passing of Julian Bond and joined Aviva in throwing flowers out into the water in his memory.
Aviva spent the remainder of her trip in Philly attending the opening of Rosenwald at the Ritz at the Bourse. Joining her in her discussion was Julius Rosenwald’s great grandson, Dan Kaufman. In the audience was a man and his son whose middle names where Rosenwald- so attributed to them by the man’s father who had attended a Rosenwald school himself.