Global Health in Local Contexts: New Course Offers Transnational Learning Opportunities

March 23, 2022

For the first time this past fall, the Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility (CGHSR)’s Global Health in Local Contexts course included a unique opportunity for students to learn alongside peers in other countries.

In addition to the University of Minnesota (UMN) course participants, the class was made up of thirty students from parallel courses: Global Health in Local Contexts, Uganda and La santé dans les contextes locaux, Haiti. The course was offered in partnership with EqualHealth, a nonprofit organization in Uganda and Haiti. 

Using virtual learning technology that has become accessible during the COVID-19 pandemic, the course allowed students from all three countries to experience global health from within their own local communities—and collectively, from across continents. 

“This course provides an opportunity for the long and nourishing work of building transnational relationships built on solidarity and trust,” said Mike Westerhaus, MD, one of the course instructors at the University of Minnesota. “The large-scale social forces that perpetuate health inequities, such as racism, patriarchy, and colonialism, are sustained through transnational networks, flows, and connections. Thus, an effective response to such forces absolutely requires transnational relationships in order to create the world we want.”

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Global Health in Local Contexts students gathered at St. Paul's Frogtown Farm for their first class session.