by Rachel Goldstein
What is your impact on the local community? How do your actions impact the world? GlobeMed, an undergraduate organization at the University of Rochester, asks these salient questions of the Rochester community with its second annual art gala, IMPACT.
The public exhibition, presenting juried artwork for viewing and for sale, will be held at the Art Museum of Rochester, 610 Monroe Ave. on December 6 with an opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Guests can expect a showcase of Rochester talent–great art, musical entertainment, refreshments, a raffle featuring products from local businesses, as well as an opportunity to learn more about what GlobeMed does abroad and in Rochester. There is a suggested five dollar donation.
The gala is part of an on-going fundraising campaign for GlobeMed's partnering organization, Kallpa Iquitos, a grassroots nonprofit aiming to empower youth and enhance opportunities through youth development projects in Iquitos, Peru.
"We want our fundraisers to reflect the values of our partner while also engaging the Rochester community–not just UR students, but the community at large," says Art Gala co-coordinator, Alysha Alani '15. The gala was pioneered last year as a way to tie Kallpa Iquitos into the local picture. "They use art as a public messaging forum," explains Alani, "a way to promote healthy lifestyles and empower the community."
GlobeMed, a group that addresses health equity and social justice, has partnered with Kallpa Iquitos since 2010 when founders Anupa Gewali '12 and Rohini Bhatia '13 applied to be a chapter. Part of a national organization comprised of 55 groups in total, the GlobeMed chapter at the University is working to achieve global health equity through local efforts and long-term partnerships abroad.
Kallpa Iquitos and GlobeMed co-construct a memorandum of understanding, which outlines how much money GlobeMed can commit to raising and how that money will be used. "We believe that Kallpa is an expert on the community they work and live in," says Alani. "They know best how to sustainably address these self-identified issues and how GlobeMed can best use our resources as University students–not only financially, but time and knowledge–to help."
Kallpa Iquitos is currently focused on empowering youth to take ownership of their communities through establishing youth centers and facilitating the development of academic enrichment programming, sexual health classes, and employment opportunities, among other projects. They are currently working with nine neighborhoods within the Pampachica area of Iquitos.
Locally, GlobeMed engages in community service and strives to educate the Rochester community about public health issues and disparities. "We cannot turn a blind eye to marginalized communities," says Alani, "whether they are in our own backyard or 3,000 miles away."
GlobeMed held their 2nd annual 5K walk in partnership with two Rochester non-profits in October 2013. They are planning their 3rd annual benefit dinner in mid-February, last year's theme being "Hope in Health: Youth in Action." Additionally, GlobeMed hopes to organize an educational debate on public health topics for the spring semester. Past events have included a panel discussion on the Affordable Care Act that featured a public health professor, physician, theologian, and economist, as well as a debate on cultural relativism and family planning co-sponsored by the debate team.
"I especially value the educational curriculum that GlobeMed incorporates," Alani explains, "topics such as why health is a human right, the history of global health efforts, and models of foreign aid. It is rare to find a group of students as passionate and willing to learn."
Alani attended two GlobeMed conferences in the past year–one regional and one national–that bring together university chapters and GlobeMed alumni. They were a reminder of the immense tasks at hand, but also the small changes that can go a long way.
"I am continually proud and impressed," Alani states, "with what a group of undergraduates can do when we put our minds to it."