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The Carolina Latina/o Collaborative (CLC) held a health fair for this year’s Celebrating Latina/o Culture Day (CLC Day) on February 8, 2014 at the Hargraves Community Center in Chapel Hill. The event drew almost 200 attendees from the Carrboro/Chapel Hill area. The CLC serves as a hub for Latina/o activism, support, and awareness on UNC’s Chapel Hill campus. With events like CLC Day, they draw on their network of advocates to give back to the surrounding community.
Economic barriers prevent many local minority residents from accessing the medical care and resources they need. Important preventative services, such as regular dental care and medical advice, as well as tests for costly and potentially dangerous chronic conditions like diabetes can be out of reach for many. CLC staff and organizers of the event decided to reach out to underserved individuals, particularly the Latino population, in order to provide the resources and knowledge that could make a vital difference.
Health Fair participants included Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Planned Parenthood, Compass Center, and the Orange Country Rape Crisis Center. A number of UNC student groups were involved, including dental student volunteer organization Ennead and the Carolina student chapter of the Hispanic Dental Association.
Spanish/English interpretation and health screening services were provided by Carolina’s Student Health Action Coalition (SHAC), which has been aiding underserved populations longer than any other student-run health clinic in the nation. The Carolina Association of Pharmacy Students (CAPS) and the Latina-based Lambda Pi Chi Sorority were also on hand to offer health and nutrition information. A Zumba session led by Latina health awareness program Amigas en Salud got both attendees and volunteers on their feet.
This is the first event the CLC has organized in the surrounding community rather than holding an on-campus event. Primary organizer and CLC Alumni Relations and Development Coordinator Amos Fung called it a successful step in forging new relationships between the CLC and the many wellness organizations in the area. “Many of the people who came were definitely in need of services and made use of the screenings that were available,” he said. “In addition, the Zumba session was a huge success. Seeing the excited faces of the participants was definitely proof of that.”
The CLC plans to expand its reach by continuing to engage with UNC and the surrounding communities. To learn more about its partner organizations, please visit http://clc.unc.edu/resources/.