Students on the health studies module read Dr Carl Hart’s book High Price in 2014 and were moved to write to him. This started off a transatlantic chain of communication which resulted in Dr Hart visiting UEL to deliver a guest lecture in May 2015.
Reading and reflecting on High Price was an integral part of a project designed to help the health studies students raise their critical consciousness and find ways to improve the world and be civically engaged.
The project had three phases designed to support students on a journey from reflection to skill development to civic engagement.
The first phase involved reflecting on literature studied in the module. In phase two, students developed critical thinking skills by reviewing academic literature and using participatory research methods. Students reflected on and mirrored their new ideas in a curated exhibition which was visited by Dr Hart.
The final phase saw students working with a local community centre to apply the health promotion methodologies learned in the project.
Programme Leader Dr Jennifer Randall was delighted that Dr Hart agreed to travel from his home in New York to meet the students.
“Carl’s courageous telling of his own life to advance discussions on drug policy inspired our students to reflect on their own lives,” she said.