Andrew Dykens

Andrew Dykens

Andrew Dykens, Faculty Lead for the Senegal Partnership at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, Director of Postgraduate Global Health Education at the UIC Center for Global Health, Founder of Peace Care

What is your story? What have you learned in life?

I have learned that there are more perspectives in this world than one can imagine, and these beliefs and perspectives run deep. These core truths are the essence of life for individuals and communities. For these, we live. Beauty can be found here in the simple and elaborate celebrations of individual and community. Here we find the birthplace of our cultures. Music, dance, and tradition. These are timeless. In knowing this, I have learned that health is not the goal, but a means. With health, communities and cultures thrive. By striving for health equity, we are standing up and saying, “Equity and Equality, in every sense and everywhere and for everyone. Every perspective matters and every person matters to our collective community.

Tell us briefly about Peace Care.

Peace Care is about the world being, ultimately, a single community. It is about connecting. There is every opportunity to share, to understand, and to work together. Peace Care creates partnerships. There is no new technology or new infrastructure. It is simply a vision of existing entities, historically working on separate priorities, aligning their vision and goals to collectively meet the needs and priorities of communities.

To you, what does it mean to live?

I love eating breakfast at the table with my family. When the weather is suitable and we can eat together in the back yard, even better. When we have breakfast with friends and relatives, better yet. Sharing these moments brings joy. Knowing that others can also enjoy these moments brings peace. I know enough about life to know that these simple moments pass. They do not stay. New moments come and often with new context, both for me and for others. Whether walking forward or standing still, life is moving past us. We must, thus, balance the then, the now, and the what is to come. For me, living is having hope for our community. Living is shaping as best we can, these new moments while being… here… and sharing together each moment as it is.

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