Ethics is certainly a topic in the news today and you are invited to join the Elgin Area Chamber’s Leadership Academy (EALA) for “Dr. Kelsey,” a docudrama focusing on ethical leadership. The program will be held Wednesday, March 13 at 7 p.m. in the in the Spartan Auditorium, located in Building G at Elgin Community College, 1700 Spartan Drive and is free and open to the public.
Offered in cooperation with Elgin Community College, “Dr. Kelsey,” explores how one woman blocked the use of a dangerous drug within the U.S. The one-act play is written by retired 16th Circuit Court Judge Wiley Edmonson and produced and directed by and directed by ECC Theatre professor Jeff LaRocque.
This docudrama examines ethical leadership and tells the story of Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey’s fight to prevent the drug thalidomide from being authorized for use in the United States. Thalidomide was heavily marketed throughout the world and would eventually be proven to cause severe birth defects. Featuring a cast of ECC student actors, the performance will explore how the one woman’s courageous stance in the face of enormous pressure saved countless lives.
The program is part of the curriculum of the Leadership Academy, a program of the Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce, and presented as part of the EALA’s discussion on ethics. The Academy is an award-winning program that crafts and delivers a curriculum specifically designed to assist individuals in becoming active and inspiring contributors to the community. Following the play, there will be a discussion of the issues brought forth in the drama and the ethical choices a person is often asked to make.
Judge Edmondson has written many docudramas for the Leadership Academy, each one being the lead for a discussion of the responsibility for ethical behavior in leadership. Previous plays written by Edmonson and offered through the Leadership Academy have focused on the 1995 Chicago heatwave, the flooding of New Orleans, the explosion of the Challenger spacecraft, the incident at Hotel Rwanda, the sinking of the Titanic, the Mai Lai massacre, the women who nursed the wounded at Gettysburg, the Danes who saved the Jews from Nazi Germany, the integration of schools during the Civil Rights Era, and the 18th century slave trade between Africa and the Americas.
EALA has become a signature Elgin Area Chamber community-building program of excellence offering leadership training designed to meet our community’s needs for engaged, dedicated civic leaders. Since 1992, the Academy has graduated more than 550 individuals who are challenging themselves, serving their employers and our community in active community-building efforts.
For more information on the Elgin Area Leadership Academy, visit www.elginchamber.com
President John F. Kennedy gave Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey the nation’s highest federal civilian service award in 1962, saying she had “prevented a major tragedy of birth deformities.” Photo Credit: The White House