As part of Philander Smith's Black History Month programming, Dr. Joycelyn Elders, the first black U.S. Surgeon General, will speak today at 2 p.m. The event will be held in the Elder's Hall of the Kendall Center, and it's free and open to the public. Elders is a native of Schaal, Ark. and a Philander Smith College alumnus. Governor Bill Clinton appointed Elders Director of the Arkansas Department of Health in 1987. In 1993, after he became president, Clinton appointed her U.S. Surgeon General.
As Surgeon General, Elders propagated controversial views. She suggested that legalized drugs may reduce crime and that contraception disbursed in schools and general promotion of masturbation may help reduce unplanned pregnancies and STD's. She was fired from the Clinton Administration in 1994, after mentioning her views on masturbation at a U.N. World AIDS Day conference.
She returned to Little Rock and took a teaching position at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.