The "#Tuskegee Study of Untreated #Syphilis in the Negro Male," a heinous experiment in #Alabama, exploited 600 Black men, 399 with syphilis and 201 without, as guinea pigs, denying them proper treatment for a decade. Promised medical care, they were instead given placebos, leading to suffering and death. The intergenerational trauma of this betrayal still haunts Black communities, fueling medical mistrust evident in COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy.
In response, the Center of Disease Control and Prevention Foundation has launched Voices Today for Change Tomorrow, a scholarship program for descendants of the study's victims, aiming to raise $5 million for annual $100,000 scholarships.
Supported by donors like the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, this initiative seeks to address the legacy of injustice and provide opportunities for those affected by the study's horrors. In 2022, the Milbank Memorial Fund, having recognized its involvement in the study in 2021, became the first institution to commit to the scholarship fund.
"By making a commitment to honor the legacy of these men, we are working to provide a stronger foundation of support for the next generation to build change. These scholarships are intended to amplify the voices of the next generation," said Judy Monroe, M.D., president and CEO of the CDC Foundation.
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