Memorable Characters

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 shoes humorously conveyed their perception by the community as “welfare kids”.

On the SHC’s provision of hope as fuel for systemic change to rural healthcare

Kate and J.W. Bradley share sweet reflections of the friendships made during the Student Health Coalition’s (SHC’s) community organizing efforts in rural Tennessee, and explain that the organization’s leader, Bill Dow, gave them hope to change what they’d always been told they couldn’t.  

Minnie Bommer’s encounter with hospital segregation

Having overcome the adversity of racially biased employment discrimination imposed upon her at the outset of her nursing career, Minnie Bommer shares also about the realities of healthcare inequities and segregation experienced post-hire at a hospital in Covington, Tenn. Recorded on June 1, 2018.   Full footage of interview with Minnie Bommer.

Bill Dow as a community organizer in Appalachia

Maureen O’Connell and Charles “Boomer” Winfrey reflect on Bill Dow’s character and personal philosophy about community organizing. They describe him as an other-oriented person driven by creative, actionable service and mutually respectful relationships best illustrated by his perception of and interaction with the locals as his heroes. Recorded on May 20, 2013.   Full footage …

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Dal Macon’s introduction to Bill Dow and the Student Health Coalition

Dal Macon shares his first impressions of Bill Dow and what attracted him to the Student Health Coalition’s (SHC’s) unique approach to community organizing. He frames the SHC and its work of rural healthcare delivery as a mission of listeners responding to community needs rather than self-righteous outsiders bent on problem-solving by themselves.   Full …

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Highlights from J.W. Bradley’s collection of papers

Biff Hollingsworth, archivist at UNC’s Wilson Special Collections Library’s Southern Historical Collection, comes across some highlights from J.W. Bradley’s recently donated collection of papers. The first is a newspaper clipping of J.W., president of Save Our Cumberland Mountains (SOCM), with Ralph Nader. Together they overlook and discuss a strip mined area in Campbell County, Tenn. …

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