End-of-life issues focus of community project

2014-07-22T00:00:00Z 2014-07-22T17:12:55Z End-of-life issues focus of community projectBy Veronica M. Cruz Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Tucson Meet Yourself is seeking community members to help with a project exploring the ways people grieve, and cope with death from different cultural perspectives.

“This project was actually brought up because there is sort of this unmet need to recognize the power of culture in the healing process as it involves getting older, end of life, death, dying and grieving,” said Monica Surfaro Spigelman, who is helping to coordinate the Continuum: End of Life Cultural Project.

The yearlong, multipart project is funded by the Shaaron Kent Endowment Fund and is held at the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona.

Eight cultural field workers are needed to help conduct research and collect information for the project.

The participants will help with observations, interviews, note-taking, and photo and video documentation.

“Anybody who has an interest in tradition, anyone who understands the importance of tradition in our lives and sharing our tradition, is someone who would be perfect for this,” Spigelman said. “We’re looking for a team of people who can respect tradition and celebrate it even in this topic of death and dying.”

Participants will attend two days of training to learn how to conduct ethical ethnographic research and will receive a $250 honorarium to cover basic expenses associated with their project work.

The training will be conducted by Maribel Alvarez, who is program director of Tucson Meet Yourself and who is also an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Arizona.

Participants will be expected to conduct about 20 hours of field work during October and November.

The research conducted by the field workers will be published in a journal and used on the Tucson Meet Yourself website.

The deadline to apply is Aug. 11.

For information or to apply, go to  tucsonmeetyourself.org/continuum-end-of-life-cultural-project

Contact reporter Veronica Cruz at vcruz@tucson.com or 573-4224.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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