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Dr. Charles James Nabors

Charles James Nabors, Ph.D is one of the featured activists in our Celebratory Retrospective on the History of African Americans in Utah.

Below is Nabors’ biography from the Celebrating Leadership in INCLUSIVE EXCELLENCE Volume 1 by the University of Utah Health Sciences Office of Health Equity and Inclusion.

Dr. Charles James Nabors was the first African American faculty member at the University of Utah. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, he attended Wabash College, and completed his Ph.D. at the University of Utah in 1965, passing his dissertation defense with distinction. He was appointed as a faculty member at the university in 1958, and was awarded tenure in the Department of Anatomy in 1972.

Dr. Nabors was recognized for his dedication to assisting students, especially those underrepresented in the health sciences. In 1976, Dr. Nabors was appointed the Assistant Dean for Minority Affairs in the University Of Utah School Of Medicine. In his work with the NAACP, Salt Lake City chapter, he worked to raise awareness regarding racial discrimination and the injustices that are generally invisible to the community at large.

In addition to this scholarly achievements and community organizing, Dr. Nabors was politically active on the national level. He was a delegate to the 1968 Democratic National Convention, serving as a member of the Committee on Credentials. A member of the Utah Citizens for Kennedy Committee, he helped to organize Robert Kennedy’s trip to Utah during the 1968 Democratic primary. Dr. Nabors passed away in 1986 at the age of 52. The office of Health Equity has named its Patient Voice series in honor of Dr. Nabors. The series is a monthly seminar that brings patients from various communities together to discuss health care quality.

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