Hall Center for the Humanities
In 2011, the Hall Center for the Humanities was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Challenge Grant to develop initiatives that advance collaborative, interdisciplinary research and provide models for collaboration among scholars in the Humanities. Among these new initiatives is the Research Collaboratives program, which seeds projects that will 1) produce tangible research results, such as preliminary data, conference or symposia proceedings, co-authored texts, or prototypes for digital projects, 2) generate models for best practices in collaborative humanities research, 3) provide mentoring in collaborative research methods, 4) validate alternative dissemination strategies, and 5) be sustainable over the project life cycle by virtue of their ability to attract external funding and/or long-term institutional support. The Bridging Digital Health Divides in East Africa LAB is honored to be the first recipient of this grant. The award is a clear reflection of the university’s commitment to our work, which was also recently recognized by a multi-year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to develop a Global Medical Humanities program.
Kansas African Studies Center
The work of the grant is made possible by the faculty that make up the Kansas African Studies Center (KASC), the premier resource for African Studies in the Mid-America region for more than twenty-five years. KASC coordinates and develops interdisciplinary study in all fields of African Studies at the university, and promotes a deeper understanding of Africa and its diaspora throughout the state of Kansas, the Midwest, and beyond. It’s current work includes a NEH-sponsored project that explores African migration in the Midwest and the power of stories for communities facing the challenges that arise from shifting demographics due to migration. With support from a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, KASC also awards Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships for those wishing to study Amharic, Arabic, KiSwahili, Hausa, Somali and Wolof.
Center for Community Health & Development
The focus of the grant will be the creation of KiSwahili materials for the Community Tool Box, an open-access website for people wanting to build healthier communities through strategic planning, intervention, evaluation, and advocacy. The Tool Box is the work of the Center for Community Health & Development, a designated World Health Organization collaborating center. This open-access website contains over 7,000 pages of information for people who want to build healthier communities through strategic planning, intervention, evaluation, and advocacy. The site had more than 5.8 million unique users from 230 countries in 2015 alone.
School for Languages, Literatures and Cultures
In 2015, the Center for Community Health & Development forged a partnership with the School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures. Their goal is to identify ways for students to explore “real-world” applications and career-opening opportunities for their study of languages and cultures through the Community Tool Box, as well as drawing upon KU’s international reputation for foreign-language research and education to advance the Community Tool Box’s translation and localization projects. The SLLC will soon house the global medical humanities certificate program, which is being spearheaded by lab co-director, Kathryn Rhine.
Other Partners and Affiliations
Work on this project will be informed by the contributions and insight of other units on the KU campus. These include, but are not limited to the following:
- Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Initiative
- Center for Migration Research
- Center for the Study of Injustice
- Institute of Haitian Studies
- Institute for Policy and Social Research
- Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities
- Shulenburger Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright
The project will also work closely with James Wawuiru and Daniel Mutonga to design an immersive experience for LAB participants. James Waruiru, is the founder of a community based organization in Kenya named Fountain of Hope Life Center, which runs women’s health and empowerment programs. He recently spent four months as a fellow with the Community Tool Box, planning for the adaptation of training materials, developing a process for capacity building, and starting a Community Tool Box Certificate Program. Dr. Daniel Mutonga’s Zahanati Ventures is an organization devoted to facilitating short-term training and exchanges for healthcare providers and students in Kenya. Dr. Mutonga has significant experience in managing the logistics of group exchanges, as well as institutional ties with Pwani University and other hospitals, corporations, and technology companies.
Technical support, including website design services, are provided by The Ermal Garinger Academic Resource Center, an academic unit within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences that seeks to promote the study of humanities through the use of technology and instructional media.