137th Nicodemus Homecoming Celebration
Friday, July 31 – Sunday, August 2, 2015
Students are invited to submit their Application for the Annual Nicodemus Project
Each year, medical students, faculty and staff make a pilgrimage to Nicodemus, Kansas to bring residents and their descendants’ free health and preventive care services. Nicodemus is the only remaining all-African-American town west of the Mississippi, founded by former slaves in 1877. During its annual homecoming weekend, which celebrates the town’s African-American pioneer spirit, the population swells from 31 to as many as 1,000 people.
The Office of Cultural Enhancement and Diversity
The University of Kansas Medical Center, School of Medicine
In partnership with the Nicodemus Homecoming Committee (Nicodemus Homecoming Celebration site)
July 31 to August 2, 2015:
Students gain a basic foundation for skills and knowledge necessary in providing health care services in a culturally specific rural setting. There are numerous opportunities for students to participate in hands-on clinical experiences.
The primary objective of this program is to acquaint students with the provision of health care services in a culturally-specific rural setting and for them to gain a strong foundation of skills and knowledge involved with various health screening procedures and health education. Students will be graded based on their active participation in the project are required to complete a written and oral report of the project. Prerequisite: Currently enrolled student at the University of Kansas Medical Center and approval by course instructor.
About the Nicodemus Adult Health Screening Program
Since 1997, The University of Kansas Medical Center has provided adult health screenings and health education for more than 500 descendants and attendees of the annual “ Nicodemus Homecoming Celebration.” The University of Kansas Medical Center Mobile Medical Unit provides a clinical setting complete with radiographic equipment and examination rooms. Free health screenings include the following:
Comments from Previous Participants:
“Persons with reservations or fear of preventative testing were encouraged by those who utilized the opportunity and if just one person was diagnosed and complied with seeing their personal doctor to have treatment you have provided a wonderful deed.”
“It was of utmost importance and helpful to most of us. Your staff was kind and very helpful. It would be wonderful to have them there next year. Health care is very important to most of us. And, the screening process is a great asset.”
Nicodemus, Kansas: A Historic Community
Nicodemus is the only remaining African American town west of the Mississippi. Founded in 1877 by former slaves who migrated from Kentucky to Kansas, Nicodemus received official designation as a National Historic Site in 1996. At one point Nicodemus boasted a population of more than 400 with two schools, a lodge, a hotel and the first African American operated post office. Today, this small rural community of less than 40 residents is comprised largely of a community center building, a housing complex, single-family residences and several historic buildings which have been restored to preserve the rich cultural heritage and history of this community.
The Annual Nicodemus Homecoming Emancipation Celebration
For more than 125 years, the descendants of the families that called Nicodemus “home” have gathered for a “Homecoming Emancipation Celebration.” This event draws descendants from across the United States and can swell the population of Nicodemus to more that 1000 people. This event is traditionally held during the last weekend of July and features many attractions including food vendors, an exhibition by the Buffalo Soldiers Cavalry, wagon rides and tours. The annual Nicodemus Parade highlights the event and sports participants from neighboring communities.