A Healthy Blog

Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

Community Voices

Community Voices

October 22, 2008

Community Voices Photo Event
On Tuesday evening, the Center for Community Health Education Research and Service (CCHERS) hosted Community Voices, a powerful health disparities photo essay exhibition. Developed by CCHERS in partnership with the Health Careers Academy in 2007, Community Voices is an innovative program that engages youth in understanding and documenting health inequality in Boston neighborhoods. For seven weeks, diverse high school students work with disparities experts, community health organizations, and community members to examine the complex issues underlying health disparities including poverty, racism, environment and healthcare access. Using photographs and oral histories, the students examine disparities from a perspective not often captured by traditional research studies and analyses.

While engaging dozens of young people in the health and well being of their local communities, Community Voices also serves as a tool for advocates working to eliminate health disparities. Students from the program have advocated for health equity legislation at the Massachusetts State House, presented their work at the American Public Health Association in Washington D.C., and participated in a number of healthcare conferences throughout Massachusetts. The program actively links research, creative arts and social action with the ultimate goal of reducing health inequalities.

Visit the Community Voices web site to learn more about the program and view excerpts from the 2007 photo essay. For more information about program participation or to request the photo exhibit, contact Alison Lima at a.lima@neu.edu.

Elmer Freeman
Executive Director, Center for Community Health Education Research and Service, Inc.
Co-Chair, Disparities Action Network