West TN

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.

West TN summers and their impact on Sharon Roberson’s career arc

Sharon Roberson shares how her experience with the Center for Health Services informed her professional pursuits, particularly as it relates to combatting the mentality she’d witnessed among many people in West Tennessee–that being the impetus not to “rock the boat” but, rather, accept the status quo.   Full footage of Sharon Roberson’s 2018 oral history …

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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.

Sharon Roberson’s early involvement with the Center for Health Services

Sharon Roberson tells of her first getting involved with the Center for Health Services, a Vanderbilt-sponsored affiliate program of the Student Health Coalition. She worked in West Tennessee (primarily Haywood County) and explains that unique to this region, in comparison to much of East Tennessee, was the motivation to establish economic justice amidst severe racial …

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Grant proposal process for the Douglas Community Health Center

Jean Carney details the convoluted grant proposal and approval process for establishing the Douglas Community Health Center, and the lengths to which she and others had to go to make it happen. Despite the several setbacks, she persisted and the money came through.   Full footage of Jean Carney’s tour and narrative of the Douglas …

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