At one time, they were little girls with little-girl dreams. When somebody would ask Sara Stigler, Nicolette Barbour or Ashley Sutherland what they wanted to be when they grew up, each would say they wanted to be a doctor.

Only later would they realize how difficult that would be. Only when they became young women did they understand that African-Americans are significantly under-represented at American medical schools.

So they would turn to each other. They would push and challenge and encourage one another. They would study together and dream together and work together.

It worked.

Friday morning, Stigler, Barbour and Sutherland walked across the stage and received their white coats as first-year medical students at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Medicine.

In many ways this is the start of a journey. They will study medicine for the next four years, then they will have residencies that last three to eight more. But that begins Monday. On Friday, they celebrated the path they have traveled. They are now part of the class of 2017.

Less than 7 percent of all U.S. medical school students were African-American last year, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

The 2010 Census shows that 14 percent of Americans identify as black or African-American.


Eventually, they went and spoke to admissions at the UC medical school. Sutherland was at the base, so she appeared in uniform via Barbour’s iPad. They had good test scores and degrees and work experience. Still, 4,800 people applied to fill 173 spots. Stigler confesses to crying some nights when she thought about it.

The plan, initially, was just for all three to get into medical school. Eventually, they realized they wanted to keep studying together, and then UC accepted them all.

Monday, they start classes. Stigler said they will keep working together because it works, and because now they almost feel like sisters.

“It’s possible we could have done this alone,” Stigler said.

“But I am not sure. Right now, I can’t even imagine not doing this with them.” ■


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I know two of these phenomenal young women and this is MY alma mater!! Black women united are impossible to defeat … 

#ProudlyCincinnati #DopeBlackChicks!!!


Naomi Campbell in race row over Cadbury chocolate Model calls advertisment ‘insulting and hurtful’ as consumer boycott is threatened By Susie Mesure Cadbury is facing the prospect of a black consumer boycott after it compared Naomi Campbell to a chocolate bar in a new advertising campaign. The supermodel –hardly known for taking things in her stride –is incensed that Cadbury used her name in the strap line to promote its new chocolate bar called Bliss, accusing the company of racism. The ad says: “Move over Naomi –there is a new diva in town.” Yesterday Campbell revealed she is considering “every option available” after Cadbury, owned by the US giant Kraft, refused to pull the ad campaign, which ran in newspapers last week: “I am shocked. It’s upsetting to be described as chocolate, not just for me, but for all black women and black people. I do not find any humour in this. It is insulting and hurtful.” The model’s mother, Valerie Morris, backed her daughter, saying: “I’m deeply upset by this racist advert. Do these people think they can insult black people and we just take it? This is the 21st century, not the 1950s. Shame on Cadbury.” Disgust at the ad prompted members of the public to complain to the campaign group Operation Black Vote (OBV), which has called for Cadbury to apologise. OBV’s Simon Woolley said that without an apology, the “only recourse black people have is not to buy its chocolate”. He has written to the American civil rights activists Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to ask them to mobilise the country’s Afro-American population. “I want them to know what their parent company is doing in Europe. I’ve asked them to support us.” Mr Woolley said that, for black people, being likened to chocolate was as bad as being called a golliwog. “Racism in the playground starts with black children being called 'chocolate bar’. At best, this is insensitive, and at worst it demonstrates Cadbury’s utter disregard for causing offence. Its lack of apology just adds insult to injury. The Eurocentric joke is not funny to black people. "It’s particularly galling because we’ve just had a week that saw the establishment fall over themselves to be close to the Obamas and yet black people are being derided in such an insulting and negative way,” Mr Woolley added. The black activist Lee Jasper said: “This issue is not just about the insult to Naomi Campbell. It’s about how these companies treat black people in general. Part of the problem is that they don’t see it as offensive.” The racism row comes just one week after a London School of Economics lecturer, Satoshi Kanazawa, hit the headlines for “research” claiming to show that black women are less attractive than those of other races. A spokesperson for Cadbury insisted that the campaign was “a light-hearted take on the social pretensions of Cadbury Dairy Milk Bliss”. He added later, however, that the campaign was “no longer in circulation… we have no plans to repeat the campaign.”