‘Photovoice’ project gets support from local foundation

Residents in two New Orleans neighborhoods will work with Tulane University faculty and staff members to document what impacts their health through pictures, thanks to a recent grant from the Greater New Orleans Foundation.

The $25,000 grant will be used for a “photovoice” project, as part of the new Movin’ for LIFE program. The project will involve up to 40 individuals in the Ninth Ward and eastern New Orleans in taking pictures of their lives and neighborhoods, documenting what helps them be healthy and what prevents them from being healthy. A gallery showing will conclude the project with pictures on display for the public, community leaders and city officials to view.

Led by the Tulane Prevention Research Center, the goal of Movin’ for LIFE (Lasting Improvements for Fitness and Energy) is to find out how to help residents in specific neighborhoods improve their diet and physical activity and allocate resources to support them.

“The photovoice project is one of several strategies Movin’ for LIFE will initiate to engage with community members, understand their health challenges and needs, and try to find lasting solutions,” says Jeanette Gustat, associate professor of epidemiology at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

The Movin’ for LIFE project is being guided by two neighborhood coalitions representing communities in the Upper and Lower Ninth Ward including in eastern New Orleans, West Lake Forest and Little Woods. Membership in the coalitions is open to the public, and residents in the neighborhoods are encouraged to join.

A variety of strategies will be used to promote active and healthy lifestyles. Lessons learned will be used to create a model toolkit for other neighborhoods in New Orleans and beyond.

For information about Movin’ for LIFE or to join one of the coalitions guiding the project, contact program manager Revonda Darensbourg or phone 504-988-4188.

Naomi King Englar is the communications coordinator for the Tulane Prevention Research Center and the Tulane Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health.