Small group sessions at GlobeMed impact class at UCLA

Each year, GlobeMed hosts a Global Health Summit that brings together “GlobeMeders” from across the country for an extended weekend filled with intensive lectures and workshops with global health leaders. The goal is to help these students develop a deeper understanding of relevant issues in global health and prepare them with the skills needed to make an impact on the world starting today.

This year, Still Harbor was invited to collaborate on a tailored reflective curriculum for peer facilitated small groups. Over the course of the Summit, April 7-10, 2011, we conducted an abbreviated facilitation training and with a cadre of peer facilitators implemented three custom designed small group sessions to help students reflect upon the broader and deeper themes of this year’s lectures and workshops.

The excerpt from the email below is an example of one of the many ways that this type of program has lasting impact and rippling effects on the students who participated in these small group sessions:

“I’m taking an African history class and my professor always talks about the single view of Africans that has persisted since European colonialism and the Scramble for Africa. He posed these questions to us after learning about the great wealth of resources and innovation in Africa before Europeans arrived:

  • What if instead of thinking about Africans as poor, we thought of them as wealthy? 
  • What if instead of thinking about Africans as needy, we thought of them as highly productive? 

I loved these questions and then after Summit I sent him the link to the TED Talk about “The Dangers of a Single Story” because I thought it embodied the ideas that my professor was trying to get across in such a beautiful and powerful way.  He LOVED it and actually called me out in the middle of lecture to thank me for the video and started a discussion in class about this idea of a single story.  Then earlier this week we actually watched the whole video in class! I thought it was really great that now over 200 people in my class have seen this video and are thinking about the ways they may be seeing people as having a single story.

My professor now refers to the video and the “single story” in every lecture and wants to meet with me to talk about my interests and some projects he is starting to bring people together working on issues such as global health in relation to South Africa in particular, but not exclusively so. I’m super excited and it is really great to see this idea spanning across so many disciplines and contexts!”

Read more about and watch Chimamanda Adichie’s TED Talk here.

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