Power and Politics in Health Care

Left to right: Marian Colette, Minnie Bommer, Tilda Kemplen, Linda Stein, Mary Elliott; Barbara Clinton, Project Director and daughter Greta in front

The role and impact of MIHOW outreach workers

Barbara Clinton frames the Maternal-Infant Health Outreach Worker Project (MIHOW) as a sustainability-driven next step to the care and relationships initiated by Coalition health fairs. She delineates the role outreach workers filled and the immense impact local women had on promoting pregnancy support and prenatal care in rural areas. See the full length video of this …

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Criteria for and selection process of outreach workers with MIHOW project

Barbara Clinton explains how partnerships between local community health clinics and the Center for Health Services (CHS) facilitated the development of the Maternal-Infant Health Outreach Worker Project (MIHOW). It was up to the community-run clinics to outline criteria for and elect outreach workers for the Center’s program. See the full length video of this road trip conversation …

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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 on the conflict that later transpired as a result of divergent approaches to community medicine–among …

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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 of Sharon Roberson’s 2018 oral history interview.

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 the more often “shiny” and “required” nature of volunteer and/or activist work today.   Full …

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Differences between West and East TN core injustices and approach to community organizing

Sharon Roberson describes community organizing work over time and the growing tension that transpired among Vanderbilt students from one summer to the next, particularly in light of apartheid in South Africa and the ongoing domestic fight for civil rights. Many students sought to transition from healthcare to more expansive, basic racial justice issues. Roberson notes …

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Appealing to community leaders, the health fair model, and rights and benefits counseling in West TN

Sharon Roberson describes the student-led approach to community organizing in West Tennessee, such as appealing to established community leaders (namely, ministers from local churches). She also details the health fair model and rights and benefits counseling, both of which were central to their activist work in the region.   Full footage of Sharon Roberson’s 2018 …

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Sharon Roberson on Black deference to White people in West Tennessee

Sharon Roberson describes an air conditioning situation in the Haywood County Public Health Services building which, to her surprise, highlighted how Black people, according to custom and engrained mentality, demonstrated deference to the White demographic.   Full footage of Sharon Roberson’s 2018 oral history interview.

“Get your hand off my shoulder.”

Dick Burr tells the story of a heated confrontation that ensued between him and a middle-class community member during a gathering of organizers strategizing how to empower the poorest in the community. His reflections on this confrontational style of organizing that was sometimes evident in the Coalition’s work captures well the values, assumptions, and anger …

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