April 10, 2018

My name is Hekang Yang, and I am an international student from China studying in the Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago. I am happy to have received the Davis Grant and take the opportunity to carry out my summer project, “Curing African Diaspora Community in Guangzhou: Disease Stigma and Health Care” in Guangzhou, China!

During my a pilot trip in Guangzhou last summer, I realized that Guangzhou, the third biggest city in China, has the most extensive African community in Asia. The number of Africans living in China is still unknown. Recent estimates range between 20,000 and 200,000. African migrants confront various barriers to housing, employment, health and medical resources. Residents also have disease stigma and racial bias to international migrants. The newly established African Community Center does not have a health division yet. Thanks to the generosity and support from the UChicago International House and Davis Peace Foundation, I am able to utilize this grant to investigate African migrants’ health conditions, organize public health workshops, and set up a health care division in the African Community Center with the help from Sun Yet-Sen University and Guangzhou Second Provincial General Hospital. Currently, I have already translated my proposal into Chinese and sent it to the local community center. I expect to establish regular contacts with them before my arrival. I am also going to research and write a brochure and, with the help of I-House’s interns, translate it into four languages.

By offering medical help I believe that it is a critical component to build sustainable and peaceful African diaspora community in China. Furthermore, it serves as a model for other places with similar issues. I am excited and a little nervous about my five weeks in Guangzhou this summer!  I know it won’t be easy, but I am so grateful to have this opportunity.

Here are some pictures of the international migrant community where I will be working at in Guangzhou.

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