Cultural Encounters

The mountain communities of Appalachia and the rural towns of West Tennessee were worlds apart from the urban neighborhoods and suburban enclaves where most SHC participants had been raised. Venturing out from the shelter of college campuses, these young people were confronted by customs, attitudes, foods, and arts very different than their own. Bridging this cultural divide was an ever-present, often-rewarding challenge.

 

New River Boys

As illustration of the depth and strength of relationship between the communities and the students, witness the example of the New River Boys. The Boys were a distinguished bluegrass band in the early 1970s. They played in venues around the… Continued

Reflections on the SHC’s sense of fashion

Kate Bradley and Marie Cirillo share some laughs thinking back to the effort Student Health Coalition (SHC) participants put toward demonstrating modesty and respect so as to cultivate relationships with community members. But sporting bowl cuts, long skirts, and duct-taped… Continued

Art Van Zee on community hosts Howard and Elsie Elliot

Art Van Zee reminisces Howard and Elsie Elliot, a local couple with whom many Student Health Coalition (SHC) participants were welcomed to stay. He highlights their hospitality as a hallmark of the Coalition’s community-centered approach to effective organizing. Continued
Diane Lauver's Legacy Plant

Resilient Reba: A bittersweet story from Diane Lauver

During a health fair in the 70s, I stayed with a couple in Elgin, Tenn.: Reba and Bud Smithers. Another health fair worker, Angela, stayed with me at their home. A few experiences with this couple left me with strong… Continued

First integrated band in St. Charles, VA: Smith Carson and the Black and White Melody Boys

Ron Carson shares about his grandfather’s, Smith Carson, first integrated band in the area: the Black and White Melody Boys. Their legacy throughout the South includes having played with Louis Armstrong and Elvis Presley.   Full footage of Ron Carson’s… Continued

Bob Hartmann on the influence of cultural understandings about death and healing

Bob Hartmann shares about a Stoney Fork community member known as Uncle Ben and speaks to the impact of local culture—particularly as it regards matters of death and healing—on rural healthcare.   Full footage of Bob Hartmann’s interview with Rick… Continued

Bob Hartmann on community medicine in Stoney Fork, TN

Bob Hartmann shares an inside look at the culture and people of Stoney Fork, Tenn., a fascinating anecdote which captures the realities of rural healthcare and community medicine.    Full footage of Bob Hartmann’s interview with Rick Davidson. Continued

Bob Hartmann on Appalachian culture and rural healthcare

Bob Hartmann shares a story about one of his patients while working with Mountain People’s Health Councils (MPHC) in Norma, Tenn. The narrative speaks to the influence of Appalachian culture on rural healthcare and community medicine.   Full footage of… Continued

Rick Davidson on connecting with local communities through music

Richard Davidson M.D., M.P.H., talks about how music allowed him to connect with members of the communities he served as the first physician for Mountain People’s Health Councils (MPHC), a consortium of health clinics originally formed by the communities of… Continued

Rick Davidson talks about a local healer in the Stoney Fork community

Richard Davidson M.D., M.P.H., recalls his interactions with a local healer in the community of Stoney Fork, Tenn., while serving as the first physician for Mountain People’s Health Councils (MPHC), a consortium of health clinics originally formed by the communities… Continued

The role of music in the Student Health Coalition

Here’s the link to a wonderful video clip, edited by Rick Davidson, that describes the connections between young student activists and local musicians in East Tennessee.   Continued

“That kind of learning does not come from a text book.”

[Story contributed by Dr. Brent Blue, February 2016] I remember I took these photos when I was first introduced to Jess and Steele. I believe John Gaventa was with us. The Huddleston’s freely admitted that due to my long hair,… Continued

“Radical Hearts” and their dress code

Margaret Ecker reminisces with the Appalachian Student Health Coalition at a gathering in 2013.   Her story about the students’ dress code was influenced by the clip below of Kate and J. W. Bradley, where they discuss what their community said about the… Continued

Moonshine

Rod Lorenz on the entrepreneurial endeavors of his host family.   Learn more about Rod Lorenz.  Continued

Living with Vada

Ann Baile Hamric on hospitality, creative home heating, and wasps in the outhouse. Continued