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Homelessness and Hunger - Rhodes College

Page history last edited by William Smith 14 years, 8 months ago


Service  |  Academic Work  |  Education & Training  |  Capacity Building  |  Deliberative Democracy 




Types of Service   short-term  |  ongoing school year  |  summer 



  • November 7th (9-12pm) or (1-4pm) – STOP HUNGER NOW! (At Cheney Parish Hall)



  • OCTOBER 27th -6:30-8:00 pm Memphis Family Shelter Halloween Party! (allse@rhodes.edu)


  • Midtown Service Day- Includes several different service sites for students to choose from. This program occurs one day at the beginning of fall semester to encourage freshmen to find a place in Memphis where they like to serve so they continue to participate with service during their college career.  


Ongoing School Year


  • Souper Contact at St. John's Methodist Church-Every Tuesday, student volunteers run a soup kitchen at the local church, St. John's Methodist. Each school year, a different Rhodes student leads the program. 


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  • Advocates for the Homeless- On Mondays, Rhodes students spend time with the homeless as they eat meals together, play games, or just talk to build relationships. 


  • More Than A Meal- Volunteers assist in serving meals, sitting at tables to provide hospitality and conversation, and lead music. 


  • Grow Memphis-This organization partners with communities in Memphis in creating organic gardens that benefit the participants, the natural environment, and the social capital of the neighborhood.  


  • Manna House- Students talk with the homeless and provide ways for them to receive showers and hygiene products.


  • Memphis Family Shelter- Volunteers help provide child care, homework assistance and administrative support.


  • Memphis Interfaith Housing Network- volunteers help with evening meals, children's activities, companionship, and serve as overnight monitors for one week in the Fall term and one week in the Spring term. 


  • MIFA-Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association- volunteers do meals-on-wheels routes one or more days a week to people in the Memphis community who have trouble going out to get meals. 


  • First Presbyterian Urban Ministry and Soup Kitchen-On Sunday afternoon, volunteers help with the soup kitchen, clothes closet, food pantry, and hygiene supply closet. Volunteers also help with the children's programs: arts and crafts and storytelling. This is for children from surrounding housing projects, and Spanish-speaking children being treated at St. Jude and Le Bonheur Hospital.


  • Community Meal at Union Avenue Methodist-On Wednesday evenings, volunteers make and serve a meal to those with and without homes, and then sit down and eat with the guests.  




  • Souper Contact- the soup kitchen at St. John's runs throughout the year and Rhodes makes sure to lead it on Tuesdays. 


  • Heifer International- First year Bonner Scholars take a four day trip to Heifer Ranch in Arkansas to experience the Global Village. This program helps students to be more aware of people who lack food and resources. The students also raise money to buy livestock for families to be self-sufficient.  



Academic Work   courses  |  service-learning  |  CBR and policy research   |  departments and institutes 


Courses and Academic Programs




105 — Introductory Sociology

An introduction to the basic study of social organization and human relations. The course aims to cultivate critical insight into the conditions of contemporary existence, including social stratification by race, social class, and gender.


241 — Urban Social Problems

The course provides an overview of the history of cities and urban development, urban strengths and challenges, and the future of cities. Through hands-on experience in Memphis communities, students come to understand how urban issues are social problems that affect people’s everyday lives.


275 — Food and Culture

Food is not only important as nutrition, but as a symbol of identity, a marker of status, a sealer of alliances and an item of social and economic currency. This course exams the myriad uses, meanings and impacts of food cross-culturally.


290 — Learning from Things: Material Culture Studies

This course focuses attention on our “materiality” and our engagement with the material world. Examples of material cultures studies will be drawn from such disciplines as archaeology, anthropology, geography, history, folklore, popular culture, architecture, and museum studies.


331 — Race/Ethnic Identities, Experiences, and Relations

This seminar course uses fundamental sociological concepts and theoretical perspectives to examine the historical and current realities of immigration and multiple race/ethnic identities, experiences, and relations in the United States. The course will survey a broad range of topics, with many touching on controversial debates that surround social stratification issues.


341 — Sociology of Education

Education is considered to be the primary means of realizing the American ideals of equality and success. This seminar course critically examines that idea by using sociological perspectives and research to understand how social class, race, and gender affect educational opportunities and outcomes.


391 — Prejudice and the Human Condition

It is a condition of being human to understand the world in terms of projected assumptions of meaning based on one’s historical, social, cultural, and linguistic position. This course examines the phenomenon of the projective or “prejudiced” nature of human understanding and explores its implications for the self and the structure of interpersonal, institutional, and cross-cultural experience.



249 — Poverty in the United States

This course examines attitudes toward the poor throughout the course of U.S. history, as well as the experiences of public and private relief organizations. Lectures and readings give attention to attempts to define “poverty,” to vagabond/homeless experiences, to problems facing the working poor, to private and public attempts to eradicate poverty, and the assessment of various programs of poor-relief, public assistance, family wage.



201 — Introduction to Urban Studies

An interdisciplinary approach to examining issues and institution in American cities; neighborhoods, downtowns, suburbs, housing, poverty, environmental justice, nonprofits and city politics; discussion of urban public and social policies; field trips or service learning are used to do hands on analysis of urban issues.


360 & 460 — Urban Studies Junior/Senior Internship

A directed internship with an urban, social, governmental, or nonprofit agency. The courses integrate traditional academic work in Urban Studies with practical internship experience.


462 — Field Projects in Community Organization

Direct application of class work to an urban problem or issue through field work in an urban institution; development of a research or policy design before field activity; involvement of student, faculty sponsor and community agency sponsor.


485 — Senior Seminar in Urban Studies

An investigation of subject areas in the discipline of Urban Studies that involves research collaboration between students and faculty.




200 — Urban Politics

A critical introduction to urban America’s fiscal and racial problems, formal and informal political processes, power structures, and alternative futures.


316 — Urban Policy

Problems and processes for policy formation in the urban system; discussion of substantive policy areas such as housing and community development.


320 — Urban Programs  

Examination of programs and policies that address urban problems; with an opportunity to explore the inner working and outcomes of effective programs that have social, environmental, and downtown emphases. 



Departments and Programs


  • Anthropology/ Sociology

  • Political Science

  • History

  • Urban Studies


Service-learning, CBR, and Policy Research


  • Anthro/Soc Urban Studies 241- "hands-on experience in Memphis community"

  • Ethnography at Home...350- Students become ethnographers of the Memphis community.

  • Urban Studies 201- Field trips or service-learning is used to do hands-on analysis of urban issues.



Education & Training   forums  |  workshops  |  reflection activities 


 Workshops and Trainings


  • Freshmen Bonners go through orientation in the beginning of the fall semester that includes going to service sites like Souper Contact and MIFA. They also have weekly meetings to discuss various areas of service. 


Reflection Activities


  • Bonner Scholars at Rhodes have the option of either journaling or joining a small reflection group to fulfill their reflection requirements. 

  • Past reflection group topics have included:

    • Human Rights and You

    • Philosophize Me: A Thoughtful Approach to Service

    • Getting Uncomfortable in Your Service



Campus and Organizational Capacity-Building   training  |  fundraising  |  resource development 


Topic-Based Reflection Groups 

The Bonner Center is re-fashioning its Service Reflection Group program, open to all students who do service, toward issue-based teams. The issue-based teams will form around a topic, e.g., homelessness and hunger, reflect on their direct experiences working in various agencies, then identify relevant policy and societal issues affecting the topic. These teams will utilize wiki sites to communicate their experiences and ideas  and to publicize their work with other campus groups and the public.



Research, Policy Analysis, Deliberative Democracy   evaluations  |  policy research  | issue forums  |  advocacy 


Fellowships as a Vehicle for Activism

The Bonner Center recognizes an absence at Rhodes in the area of campus-wide efforts to engage important societal issues. As our campus creates new fellowship opportunities for all students receiving merit-based aid, we will use our leverage in this process to include systemic analysis and policy development as an expected outcome for these groups. Working with newly-appointed faculty and staff leaders for these fellowship groups, our hope is to create a climate of interest and passion for the policy implications of our work and research.   



Contacts   staff  |  faculty  |  students  |  community partners (local, regional, national) 




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