Over the past decade, Durham and its public schools have experienced a substantial increase in Latinx students (and their families). The Durham Public School system (DPS) has only begun to address the needs of this rapidly-growing demographic. To properly serve and engage the rapidly changing demographics of students, Durham needs pedagogies and instructors, that (a) are conscious of social inequities, (b) hold affirming views and high expectations for students of color, (c) are familiar with the lives of students outside of school, (d) recognize an ethical and moral obligation to advocate for education that is equitable for all students, especially the traditionally marginalized, and (e) create inclusive classrooms that allow for building knowledge based on prior student experiences (Ladson-Billings 1994, Villegas 2007). Across the US, Latinxs make up 18% of the population but receive only 4.5% of awarded science and engineering doctoral degrees.
Since its inception in 2017, SALUD has grown in scale and scope. This year we received funding through the Duke University Bass Connections program (Education and Human Development theme). SALUD was originally founded to give Latinx students at the City of Medicine Academy the opportunity to explore medical training, meet medical students and learn from healthcare professionals in settings that consider their backgrounds and communities. A one-week program (2017) has expanded to a 12-session curriculum that addresses social determinants of health disparities through a social justice lens, while retaining a focus on health technology, science, and college access. In two iterations (i.e., summer 2017 and spring 2019), SALUD’s rapidly-expanding team has raised $40K+, collaborated with 25+ unique Duke and community partners, served 44 students, and expanded its reach across Durham County.