Educational Offerings for Community Partners

two students greet a patient at a wellness clinic

Health Equity and Human Flourishing in Memphis

Rhodes College was recently awarded a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that will be used over the next three years to enable the college to bring health equity education to community partners in Memphis. Our goal is to help our partners find ways to collaborate to address the disparities that impair human health and flourishing and to see ways to build a culture of equity.

What do we mean by health and human flourishing?

Health and human flourishing are products of the social relationships that shape us as individuals and in communities. Health and well-being grow in egalitarian communities, and disparities take root amidst social inequalities. We can measure the justice of a society in the bodies of its people. The social forces that shape health and well-being include transportation, education, housing and neighborhood conditions, access to green spaces and art, employment and income stability, food, social support, religious belonging, and access to health care services. Migration, globalization, poverty, territory, and cultural are also powerful drivers of health and well-being.

Because the root challenge for building health equity is social inequality, not lack of access to medicine, solutions can only emerge when social forces align to offer fair chances for all people to flourish. Understanding where disparities grow and how to uproot them requires collaboration from all sectors of society. We plan to work especially with governmental, educational, philanthropic, and health care organizations.