Over the course of this seminar we have brodly learned about intercultural communications and global health. Before this trip, I never thought much of those issues because it was not something that I directly faced. As we discussed stereotypes, cultural shock, health equity, and more I realized these were my problems too. The guest speakers have related to intercultural communications to various topics like analytics and antimicrobial resistance. Drawing out the correlation between culture and global health has allowed me to see that there is a significance difference between high and low income areas with distinct cultures.
One of the first activities we did was discovering who my peers and I were through identifiers we choose for ourselves. The simple worksheet was handed out and we all had to write 7 "I am" statements. I drew a blank after writing I am African American and I am female. I slowly began to formulate new statements like I am a sister and I am friendly but, this worksheet made me think of how I see myself. During the following discussion, I found it interesting that I identified with the first things that others see in me. These are also identifiers that I am most discriminated by. Has growing up in a predominately white society, like most of my peers, made me see myself as only the token black friend? Taking away all of the things that I hold so close to my heart like singing, playing the piano, being a sister, and getting an education. This same power struggle of identifiers with oneself is not different in areas where there are more pressing health issues. Overpopulated developing countries seem to all contain people of color. Most of the health issues that are faced have already been cured and have effective vaccines. Possible reasons why those areas like India, Sub Saharan Africa, Southern Asia, and some areas in the Middle East are still facing these problems are because of our reaction to their identifiers. Because they are of a certain ethnicity, they don’t need help or they can figure it out themselves but, this is a shared problem among all of us. I believe we can start helping by donating to organizations like the Red Cross that include skilled professionals and local volunteers that are trained in communicating effectively and not disrespecting anyones culture. The road to health equity and order world struggles is long but it becomes easier when there are people who are ready to be challenged to find themselves and help others.