The Health Association of African Canadians – Student Organization (HAAC-SO) was formed by Michelle Patrick, Akila Whiley and Leah Jones in the summer of 2015. Patrick is the Promoting Leadership in Health for African Nova Scotians (PLANS) coordinator at Dalhousie, while Whiley and Jones are both students at Dalhousie Medical School. Throughout the 2015-2016 academic year, this group has been involved in raising awareness of African Canadian health issues. We recently interviewed Jones and Whiley to learn more about HAAC-SO.
Who are the members of HAAC-SO exec?
What are the goals of HAAC-SO?
The Health Association of African Canadians – Student Organization (HAAC-SO) is a sub group of the Health Association of African Canadians (HAAC), which addresses African Canadian health issues and the systemic inequities affecting health. The goal of the student society is to bring students together from Dalhousie University, and beyond, to create a community of learning centered on Black health issues, career development and community engagement.
What events has HAAC-SO been involved with during the 2015-2016 academic year?
Since the start of the school year, HAAC-SO has been involved in a variety of events of awareness events, both at Dalhousie University and in the community. Some of these are listed below:
- September 2015 – HAAC-SO Kickoff Social, Dalhousie Society and Volunteer Expo (recruiting new members)
- October 2015 – Living Library (contributed a human “book” to educate attendees on ANS Health)
- November 2015 – Pathways to Education (participated in a Health Education and Nutrition workshop with local youth)
- January 2016 – Poverty Inc. screening and discussion at Dalhousie Medical School
- February 2016 – Elephant in the Room speaker series, Talk About Health
- March 2016 – Screening of Black Mother Daughter at Dalhousie Medical school featuring spoken word from Verena Rizg and Monique Thomas, Poverty Inc. screening at Mount Saint Vincent University
- April 2016 – End of year potluck
In your experiences with HAAC-SO, how have partnerships helped you to achieve your goals?
Throughout the year we have made many partnerships; from the Global Health Office, Human Rights Equity and Harassment Prevention Office and many local activists. This has made it possible to host successful events, by event promotion through their networks and financial support. We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to form these valuable partnerships as we are a new organization just getting off the ground!
Over the course of one year, HAAC-SO has managed to make a significant impact on Dalhousie campus and beyond. The Global Health Office can’t wait to see what this hard-working group has planned for next year!
Written by Maria Wilson, Outreach Assistant – Global Health Office