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Open Up to the World of Global Health

Join globally minded faculty, staff, students and community members and engage in global health thought without needing to get on a plane. Participants will read at their own pace, have support from the Office of Global Health Initiatives (GHI) and be able to discuss the book with fellow readers at their choice of an in-person or virtual small group event.

Join the Global Health Book Club, get discussion points, and stay informed about future book selections:

Spring 2024 Book

Bring the world of global health to Kentucky as we discuss Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins-Valdez.

Inspired by true events that rocked the nation, a profoundly moving novel about a Black nurse in post-segregation Alabama who blows the whistle on a terrible wrong done to her patients, from the New York Times bestselling author of Wench.

Montgomery, Alabama, 1973. Fresh out of nursing school, Civil Townsend has big plans to make a difference, especially in her African American community. At the Montgomery Family Planning Clinic, she intends to help women make their own choices for their lives and bodies.

But when her first week on the job takes her down a dusty country road to a worn-down one-room cabin, she’s shocked to learn that her new patients, Erica and India, are children—just eleven and thirteen years old. Neither of the Williams sisters has even kissed a boy, but they are poor and Black, and for those handling the family’s welfare benefits, that’s reason enough to have the girls on birth control. As Civil grapples with her role, she takes India, Erica, and their family into her heart. Until one day she arrives at the door to learn the unthinkable has happened, and nothing will ever be the same for any of them.

Decades later, with her daughter grown and a long career in her wake, Dr. Civil Townsend is ready to retire, to find her peace, and to leave the past behind. But there are people and stories that refuse to be forgotten. That must not be forgotten.

Because history repeats what we don’t remember.

Take My Hand Book Cover

Virtual Book Discussion: April 26th, 12:00pm - Zoom

In-Person Book Discussion: April 25th, 4:00pm – 207 Bradley Hall

Suggested Reading Schedule:

  • By March 11th - Part 1, Chapters 1-10
  • By March 18th - Part 1, Chapters 11-20
  • By March 25th - Part 2, Chapters 21-29
  • By April 1st - Part 2, Chapters 30-37
  • By April 8th - Part 3, Chapters 38-42
  • By April 15th - Part 3, Chapters 43-52 and Author’s note

Target Audience:

Those interested in the concepts of the social determinants of health. Topics include othering and the savior complex, systemic racism in the healthcare system, and how poverty, racism, and classism in the post-Jim Crow South relate to patient care and outcomes.

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