DR. JACKIE WALTERS SPEAKS ON BLACK HISTORY MONTH AND THE POWER OF WOMEN AT MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE UN
By: Elise Sandlin
MT News Reporter
Dr. Jacqueline “Jackie” Walters visited MTSU campus Monday night to bridge the gap between Black History Month and National Women’s History month. Dr. Walters is a health expert, philanthropist, women’s advocate, OBGYN award-winner, two-time breast cancer survivor, and cast member of Bravo TV’s “Married to Medicine.”
Walters obtained her medical degree from the University of Mississippi School of Medicine and finished her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology from the Medical Center of Central Georgia and Mercer University. She has dedicated her life to helping men and women struggling and recovering from breast cancer, founding The 50 Shades of Pink Foundation which helps breast cancer survivors tap into their inner and outer beauty.
Walters has a passion for women in need and uses her platform to serve, nurture, and empower them.
“We are far more important than the world has created and told us that we are. Women, you are strong,” Walters addressed the crowd Monday night. “God created women to survive all the things we need to overcome. I believe the power of the women is not given to her. It is something extra in that chromosome that we have.”
Walters shared the hardships she had to face as a woman, including a painful miscarriage that was followed by a long ordeal of breast cancer. “When I say a woman stands strong, I mean I took my struggles, and it gave me strength,” Walters said. She continued to speak on the dangers women face in carrying that strength alone. She shared that black woman commit suicide 60 percent more often than women of other races of the same age. Black women also have a harder time getting certain medicines and health care even if they work harder to obtain it.
“It has to stop somewhere, and I’m asking the women in the room to let it start with us,” Walters challenged. “Open up and say something. See the world through a different lens. Women, you’ve shown us, you have power. Black America, you’ve shown us, you have power.”
Walters uses her position to push many of these changes in the medical field and to give the best opportunity possible to her clients because she believes in the power of women. “Women are the cornerstones of our communities,” She said. “We cannot allow ourselves to be dismissed, disregarded, or disrespected. ”
Walters wasn’t always the successful TV star and activist she is today. She was fired from a medical practice early on in her career and had to start from the beginning by opening her own medical practice. “I let my fears take second because I wanted it that bad,” Walters said. “I kept working, and I kept working, and I kept working until I started my own practice… I wanted it bad enough, but people don’t see that part. It doesn’t come overnight. You’ve got to pay your dues.”
Walters encouraged women to continue to do better, to break barriers, and use their strength against all odds to follow their dreams.
MTSU Freshman Dametriana Morris loved the event. “I love how she shared information about black women opening up, and our health is important, and I think this is something that everybody can really use in life… a lot of good information,” Morris said. “I would try to get more black women to be aware of everything she talked about, as far as our mental and physical health.”
Maliyah Patterson, an MTSU Freshman as well, shared her take-aways from the event. “Speaking up about mental health and not holding it all in is so important,” she said. “A lot of black women do that.”
Dr. Walters is the first of many speaking for National Women’s History Month this March at MTSU. For more information on campus events, visit https://www.mtsu.edu/jac/nwhm.php.