Health Voice Vision
Funded by the Rural Futures Institute, HealthVoiceVision is a combined Photovoice (PV) and survey research project that links community voices/images with rigorous social science research methods to provide more insight into the health of rural communities. This project addresses an important gap in our understanding of local health ways by providing data at sub-county, community specific levels. The creation of a cost-effective and accurate means for uncovering health inequalities in rapidly changing, ethnically diverse small communities in the Midwest will lead the way to more accurate health interventions within these communities.
Looking Past Skin
As part of the Health Voice Vision project, Looking Past Skin is an evidence-based art exhibition that is part of a larger effort to wed art to research. The exhibition is composed of two elements that together aim at reaching a broader audience across the state and allowing viewers to question their perceptions on immigration, agriculture, and community well-being. Rural communities are experiencing deep demographic shifts driven by the opening of large agriculture businesses across Nebraska. Ground zero is in Lexington, Nebraska, which remains one of two Nebraska cities observing an entire demographic shift (97% minority population) over the past 15 years. The MHDI team has remained committed to building long-term relationships with the Lexington community. Looking Past Skin: Our Common Threads is heavily influenced by the contributions of the Lexington community. The exhibit works at intersections of several research and community projects in Lexington:
- Photovoice study – a community-generated art/advocacy photo-documentary project.
- A 325 household survey on social determinants and well-being.
- Revamping the high school health curriculum into a processed-based learning experience where students present public health campaigns at community health fairs now held on their campus bi-annually.
- A variety of qualitative interviews on minority health disparities conducted over the past two years. The exhibition component consists of two art installations: (1) Refocusing Agriculture, Immigration & Our Well-being; and (2) “Ask a Doctor?” UNL Health Voice Vision & Looking Past Skin is funded by design to be independent or complementary depending on the venue.