Academic journal article Journal of Cultural Diversity

Editorial: Cultural Diversity in a Southern City

Academic journal article Journal of Cultural Diversity

Editorial: Cultural Diversity in a Southern City

Article excerpt

In 1999, I assumed the position of Department Chair of Community Mental Health at the University of South Alabama College of Nursing loGated in Mobile, Alabama. The decision to leave the comfort of northeastern Ohio where I had spent the majority of my life and move to the most southern region of Alabama was terribly difficult. I expected racism, intolerance, and prejudice; what greeted me was a community that was warm, sincere and caring. I found the upper Gulf Coast region to be a melting pot of cultures and people. In just Mobile and the surrounding communities there are approximately 1 million people comprising many races and cultures. It was not unusual to see African-Americans, Caucasians, Haitians, Hispanics, Native Americans and Asians living, working, and going to school side by side, sharing friendship, laughter, and family values. However, as with any other place in the United States, there are issues. The primary issue for this community is ensuring access to healthcare and providing care that is culturally relevant.

As part of its mission, The University of South Alabama (USA) and the College of Nursing are committed to providing high quality health care services and educating health care providers. Faculties at the USA College of Nursing have developed a multitude of innovative clinical sites within the community to foster health. These community-based clinical experiences provide students an opportunity to interact with people from diverse racial and cultural backgrounds. Students grow professionally through self-discovery and the critical examination of issues relative to health, such as bias, prejudice, racism, and socioeconomics. …

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