Immigrant & Refugee Service Corps (IRSC) member Jacqui Langer took time to tell us about who she is and why what she’s doing is important.
Q: Who are you? Where’d you come from?
I grew up in Racine, Wisconsin, the sort of small town place where nobody questions what’s outside of our small community nor dreams of leaving. At age 16, I decided that wasn’t for me, so I went on a year-long exchange to Lima, Peru for my senior year of high school. My experiences abroad inspired me to study Anthropology at American University in Washington, DC and get involved in a multitude of Social Justice Organizations.
Since graduating in May 2014, I’ve been a bit nomadic, moving new places, trying new jobs, and completing a 4,000 mile trek across the USA on bike. I’m contently settled in Indianapolis for now, ready to explore and make my mark upon this city.
Q: Why did you join AmeriCorps?
The IRSC program appealed to me because it was a way to bridge my passions in social justice and multicultural studies with tangible skills in the field of public health.
Q: What are you doing with IRSC? Why do you think it will be important?
I am serving as the Multicultural Program Coordinator at Cancer Support Community (CSC) – a non-profit which offers free wellness classes, educational programming, and support groups for cancer patients and their families. I am charged with the task of bringing our wonderful programs and resources to a more diverse audience through culturally responsive practices. My main project is expanding Spanish language programming so that linguistic minority families can enjoy our survivorship programming.
Cancer doesn’t discriminate. There exist a multitude of Health Disparities between patients, including a higher mortality rate among patients of color for many types of cancer. Organizations like CSC exist to make sure nobody had to go through cancer alone, so it is vital that we have culturally responsive programming and policies for the diverse range of participants we serve.
Q: What do you plan to do when you finish AmeriCorps, and how do you think your IRSC tour of duty will contribute?
After Americorps, I plan to continue working in the field of public health or community health work in some form… Or maybe just become a famous Roller Derby player.
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