The Student Health Coalition Archive Project describes a collaboration between underserved communities and college students in the 1960s through the 1980s.  The goal of the collaboration: improve access to health care, by means of community organizing, primarily in the rural South.

The archive represents an innovative community-driven approach to preserving history, weaving together individual stories and memories that in the aggregate build a narrative about the work, the era, community organizing, and health care delivery. Documents, photos, and recorded interviews are housed at the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and at the Eskind Biomedical Library at Vanderbilt University. This website serves as a portal to the Archive, and an invitation to participate.

Project Themes

Recently Added Stories

Joe Little on the early days of the Center for Health Services

Joe Little shares his perspective on the impetus behind the establishment of the Center for Health Services, based on his own recollection and from his deep dive into the archives. Toward the end of this clip, he also briefly touches… Continued

Sharon Roberson on institutional racism and her invitation to Chancellor Heard’s home

Sharon Roberson shares what she’s most proud of from her time in West Tennessee, explaining how it cultivated greater depth to her critical understanding of institutional racism and the ensuing drive to educate others on the matter.   Full footage… Continued

On Sharon Roberson’s mother, Lady Kendall

Sharon Roberson shares a story exemplifying her mother’s legacy of kindness and advocacy, highlighting the power of leaders to change institutions.   Full footage of Sharon Roberson’s 2018 oral history interview. Continued

“Whites treated Whites and Blacks treated Blacks”

Sharon Roberson discusses her witness of racial segregation in rural West Tennessee healthcare (circa late 1970s), noting how said disparities severely limited access to healthcare for many in the area.   Full footage of Sharon Roberson’s 2018 oral history interview. Continued

Sharon Roberson on respect for elders

Sharon Roberson shares how her cultural upbringing facilitated an innate respect for elders that, she believes, is foundational to achieving societal civility.   Full footage of Sharon Roberson’s 2018 oral history interview. Continued

Sharon Roberson on systemic racism: then and now

Sharon Roberson reflects on her witness and personal experience of racism together with our ongoing culture of racism today, highlights the widespread mistrust of Medicaid expansion and Obamacare common among many people (largely due to politically-driven misinformation and propaganda), and… Continued

On the anti-establishment origins of the Coalition and Center for Health Services

Sharon Roberson and Margaret Ecker discuss how Vanderbilt University no longer has a Student Health Coalition or Center for Health Services, in part due to an unspecified anger more characteristic of the 1960s and 1970s student generation, on top of… Continued

Sharon Roberson’s work with the YWCA

Sharon Roberson delves into more detail about her ongoing work with the YWCA and how her experience with the Coalition shaped the values which, to this day, inspire her professional priorities.   Full footage of Sharon Roberson’s 2018 oral history… Continued

Recently Added Personal Profiles

Lark Hayes

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John Williams

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Chuck Darling

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Kaye Bultemeier

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