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Calendar History A Decades Long Tradition  |  A Calendar Retrospective  |  Updated Accomplishments  |  Aetna and Diversity

Aetna's African American History Calendar - A Decades Long Tradition
Since 1982, Aetna has recognized the outstanding contributions of African Americans by publishing yearly calendars that celebrate this integral part of our country's rich history. The calendar, which features both monthly profiles and significant historic events, has become an invaluable reference and education tool in schools, libraries, and homes across the country.

To date, the calendar has profiled more than 300 individuals -- pioneers in fields such as business, government, athletics, science, education, medicine and the arts. From the award-winning playwright Lorraine Hansberry and the late Olympic gold medal winner Florence Griffith Joyner, to heart surgeon Dr. Daniel Hale Williams and CEO and philanthropist Comer J. Cottrell Jr., all of the individuals featured have demonstrated great strength, perseverance and grace in succeeding in their chosen fields.

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About This Web Site - A Calendar Retrospective
The history of African Americans is rich with courageous and inspirational stories that touch every facet of American history and culture. This Web site provides a broad retrospective of the women and men whose vision, intellect and heart have, in countless ways, shaped what our country is today.

Beginning in 1982 and through 1989, Aetna's calendars featured individuals whose work for equality and civil rights -- from the Civil War to present day -- has shaped our conscience and paved the way to a more just society. Regardless of background, heroes such as Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth risked their lives so that future generations would be free. Others, such as Mary McLeod Bethune, Ida Bell Wells-Barnett, and Arthur Alfonso Schomburg, worked to both unite African Americans and document their history. Click on the link below to enter the calendars of the '80s.

1982-1989 African American Historical Figures

In the 1990s and into the new millennium, Aetna's calendars focused on themes -- music, the arts, education, health, food and nutrition, business enterprise -- and highlighted prominent African Americans' contributions in these areas. Today, we listen to the jazz licks of Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong, read the medical research of Dr. Alvin Poussaint and legal opinions of Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page, marvel at the robotics expertise of Dr. Bart Nnaji; and admire the entrepreneurial philanthropy of CEO Comer Cottrell Jr. and the dedication of nursing leader Dr. Betty Smith Williams. These individuals, and many others, have realized soaring accomplishments through their love of profession, a strong belief system, and a devotion to work for the common good. Click on the individual links below to enter the calendars of the '90s and 2000s.

1990: The Life & Photography of Milt Hinton, Jazz Musician
1991: A Hard Road to Glory: The history of the African American Athlete chronicled by Arthur Ashe
1992: In the Shadow of the Great White Way: Images from Black Theater
1993: The Power Within: The Legacy of Dr. Daniel Hale Williams
1994: Love, Wisdom and Conscience
1995: The Emerging Force of African American Enterprise
1996: The Power of Discovery + The Challenge of History: African Americans in Science
1997: African American Food and Nutrition: From Survival to Choice
1998: The Story of Fitness
1999: The Gift of Giving Back: African Americans and the Spirit of Philanthropy
2000: Leaders of the Century
2001: Celebrating Historically Black Colleges and Universities
2002: Closing the Health Care Gap: A Call to Action
2003: African American Nurses
2004: A Look at African Americans in Dentistry
2005: African Americans in Pharmacy
2006: Celebrating Life: Empowering a Lifetime of Healthful Outcomes
2007: A Healthful Life Approach: African Americans Addressing Obesity
2008: Health Literacy: A Dose of Understanding
2009: Healthy Communities: Health and Wellness Across America
2010: Serving our Country, Serving Our Communities: African Americans in Public Service

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From Calendar to Web Site: Updated Accomplishments
Since their original profiles were published in one of Aetna's 27 African American calendars, many individuals have taken on new challenges, soared to even greater accomplishments and received additional recognition. Through direct contact with these individuals and/or the assistance of many research sources, we have updated the feature biographies for each year to reflect additional contributions.

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Aetna and Diversity
Aetna's long-term commitment to diversity is not simply good for business, it's the right thing to do. We continue to integrate our diversity initiatives into all aspects of our business by developing and engaging a workforce that mirrors the changing marketplace, and by building and sustaining external relationships to promote market growth and attract talent.

Diversity has been and continues to be one of Aetna's most important attributes within our workforce, our goals and our contribution to the communities we serve. Through our people, our company leadership, our diversity networks, our health initiatives, and the work of the Aetna Foundation, Aetna respects and serves the needs of a multicultural marketplace.

For more information regarding Aetna's ongoing commitment to corporate citizenship and diversity, please visit the Foundation's Web site or Diversity and Aetna which received an A+ rating from

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