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

On the Center’s multi-phasic identities and development over time

Irwin Venick, Joe Little, and Bob Hartmann reflect on the birth and growth of the Center for Health Services (CHS) over time, tracing its stages of development from its initial Medical School partnership to its later social-science orientation and eventually,… Continued

On the role of institutional support in community-driven change

Bob Hartmann and Irwin Venick respond to Gillian’s question about how they would approach or encourage others to approach similar student and/or community-led projects today. Bob provides insight into what the Coalition did right and what it could have done… Continued

Resistance to institutionalization: then and now

Bob Hartmann, Irwin Venick, and Joe Little reflect on how the SHC process became institutionalized and the widespread (but split) resistance to it. Bob concludes that if they’d known more about how universities work or approached the formalization process retrospectively,… Continued

Positive impact despite Coalition/Center conflict: Joe Little reflects

Joe Little reflects on the influence of Coalition (and Center) participation on himself (and others) as an individual, choosing to think on how it impacted so many students in positive and profound ways despite the conflict that surrounded the Center… Continued

Competing visions and growing pains: on the Center’s origins

Irwin Venick expands on the competing visions between the SHC and the Center for Health Services (CHS), explaining that once the Center was established, Coalitioners faced the challenge of adjusting to a structure they hadn’t had to in previous installments… Continued

Margaret Ecker reflects on unique nature of the Coalition’s power

Margaret Ecker reflects on the power of the Coalition, however invisible at the time, and its success in changing institutions, unconventional and inchoate though it was. She brings John Gaventa’s conclusion on the matter, as further detailed in his book… Continued

Joe Little on Tricia Nixon’s visit and the Coalition/Center conflict

Joe Little frames Tricia Nixon’s visit to the Center for Health Services (CHS) as a microcosm for the conflict that was going on at the time: some SHC and/or CHS participants and alumni attended the meeting, entertaining the dialogue that… Continued

Coalescing visionary spirit with stabilizing structure: on the Center’s origins

Irwin Venick and Joe Little define the central conflict pertaining to the development of the Center for Health Services (CHS) as the challenge of retaining a Bill-like figure to keep the spirit, vision, and focus of the Coalition alive, yet… 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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