Taught by Jessica Lott
Examines the meanings of illness, healing, and the body in cross-cultural and global terms. Topics include the social organization of medical care, varieties of explanations for disease, and political dimensions of health inequalities. Emphasis is laid on the application of anthropological findings to medical care.
- Professor Jessica Lott
This project helps students connect social theories of health and illness, which can be abstract, to their personal experiences and to their community. Students use anthropological ideas about health inequalities and beliefs about health as criteria for evaluating nonprofits. They are also challenged to think about what health is and what would “count” as a healthcare service for our project.
Adding a philanthropic component shows students how theories and questions from class have real-world implications. They see how ideas from class impact people’s lives and see the passion that drives the local nonprofits that they visited. Importantly, it also shows students that they can help ameliorate the social issues we discussed in class. They can join with their neighbors to make a difference.
“Visiting Esperanza Latino Center for myself really helped me realize how significant programs such as these can be for certain groups and individuals. My group was amazed at how much they had to give to the Latino/Hispanic community. As we were given a tour, it struck us how passionate the people working there were about their job and bewildered us with how the nonprofit was able to do so much with so little space.” – Ashley Nerswick
“The project really brings to light the number of opportunities that are available for us to help give back to our communities. Not only can we help financially, but we can also use our knowledge and understanding to help others.” – Regina Utz
“Community service is not something I frequently took part in when I was younger, but this project has made me consider being more engaged in community service activities. I have been given a new lens to view community service and nonprofit work and has certainly changed how I will engage with both of these in the future.” – Ian Knecht
Esperanza Latino Center of Northern Kentucky provides a wide array of services to support Latino communities in our region. Their bilingual service desk helps to connect Latino residents of Northern Kentucky to a variety of services along with translation help. They also provide services such as diaper assistance, healthy food assistance, and more.
The $2000 award will be used to support and to expand their Spanish language GED preparation program. This project fills an important gap: the GED is available in Spanish, but there were previously no preparation programs in Spanish in our region. Our class took a broad view of health, drawing inspiration from definitions of health that emphasize physical, mental, and social wellbeing. We believe that this initiative addresses an important inequality in our region and will support the health and wellbeing of Latino individuals and families.
When asked about their experience with MSPP, "Please continue. This is a tremendous help for local organization and also gets students involved in the community and can trigger interest and passion for nonprofit and philanthropy efforts. This is a tremendous project."
For more information, https://www.esperanzanky.org/