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The Health Justice Project: Using digital stories to address health disparities as a social justice issue

Raised of $1,500 Goal
Funded on 2/20/17
Successfully Funded
  • $1,675
  • 111%
  • Funded
    on 2/20/17

About This Project

The purpose of this project is to examine the link between racial and social injustice based on one's minority status and negative health outcomes. The Health Justice Project uses digital storytelling to show how discrimination, stigma and oppression leads to health disparities. Digital stories will also demonstrate how individuals, organizations and communities resolve health disparities by promoting health equality as a form of racial and social justice.

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What is the context of this research?

Health inequities are systematic, avoidable, and most importantly, unjust differences in health outcomes. Social and racial injustice is the violation of right's based on identity. Therefore, justice must encompasses more than equal treatment for all to prevent health inequities and improve health. The concept of justice must also take into consideration (1) the experience of stigma and discrimination, (2) structures that create systematic oppression that lead to negative health outcomes and (3) ways to empower others to reduce health disparities. The context of this project is to demonstrate how social and racial injustice leads to poor health outcomes, and to provide resources and steps for tangible solutions.

What is the significance of this project?

In science class, we asked if a tree falls in the woods and no one is around, does it make a sound? But what happens if no one cares about the tree? Would we still be concerned if a tree falls in the woods, and if it actually made a sound?

Digital storytelling combines narratives, photographs, videos, images and sound to create a short movie that tells a story. The significance of the project is to use digital storytelling to demonstrate a person’s experience with injustice and negative health outcomes as a reality for others. The project will also offer ways to address and combat forms of injustice to improve health outcomes and quality of life.

What are the goals of the project?

There is grave concern for how the shifting political climate will impact marginalized groups. The post-2016 presidential election has created calls for concerns among certain racial and ethnic groups, women, and sexual and gender minorities. The goal of the Health Justice Project is to use digital storytelling as a form Community-Based Participatory Research, or CBPR, to explore how threats to injustice, both real and perceived, influences health disparities and negative health outcomes among marginalized groups. We will conduct digital storytelling workshops to help people share their experiences, and then analyze common themes. The project will begin in February 2017. Digital stories and project updates will be posted on our website and YouTube channel to follow our progress.


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The Health Justice Project stems from the "Stories in Sisterhood," a HIV prevention project created to reduce HIV-infection among cis (gender expression the same as at birth ) and trans (gender expression different from birth) women of color. As demonstrated by the Flint, MI water crisis, and unfounded concerns over bathroom selection and gender expression, inequities and health disparities evolve over time through historical channels of social and racial injustice. Funds donated to the Health Justice Project will be used to create digital stories that illustration how health disparities can manifest as a form of injustice, and ways to improve health. Your funded support will offset costs associated with travel to conduct digital storytelling workshops and create the digital stories, to purchase equipment such as memory cards and a camera lens, and to offer incentives for anyone willing to share their story.

Endorsed by

I am very thrilled for this project to begin. I believe that it will begin to change the faces of health disparities and social justice issues by using digital story telling.
I am really excited about this project. Although research on health disparities is prevalent, there still lacks a clear and comprehensive understanding of pathways to disparities. The strength in this project is use of digital stories as a way to elucidate those often covert occurrences of oppression amongst marginalized individuals. Who else can tell this story but the person LIVING out these experiences. The end result- effective strategies and while giving "outsiders" insight on what living as a minority looks and feels like.
I am thrilled to support the vision for this vital project. I believe it will answer critical questions in this field of study. Dr. Kimberly A. Parker, is uniquely poised to address these important questions. She is heavily invested in HIV prevention research and advocacy for racial/ethnic and sexual minorities and otherwise vulnerable groups.
I am ready excited about this project. The research is important, ground breaking and innovative. I look forward to seeing the results.
As a Hospital Administrator /Executive a key challenges in healthcare is understanding how social factors impact a patient's ability to self-manage care in the community. A part of this is also understanding self-image and perceptions of care. This research will help healthcare organizations understanding how to develop trust between providers and patients. It also gives way to training opportunities for staff and new program development, which will help decrease disparities and gaps in care for vulnerable and high-risk populations.
Digital stories are an innovative method that capture attention, create momentum, and provide a voice to those who have been silenced by social injustice and inequities. Dr. Parker and colleagues are experts in the intersectionality of gender, ethnicity/race, income, age and sexual orientation. This is an exciting research tool and I look forward to the project outcomes.

Meet the Team

Kimberly Parker
Kimberly Parker
Associate Professor

Team Bio

Darriane Martin is a public health consultant and has worked in the field of HIV/AIDS and reproductive health for over 10 years.

Kimberly Parker

Kimberly A. Parker is an Associate Professor at Texas Woman's University. She has earned a PhD from the University of Georgia's College of Public Health, a MPH from the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina, and is a is a Master Certified Health Education Specialist. Dr. Parker conducts qualitative and mixed-methods research on women and minority health issues and currently serves as the Principle Investigator for several research projects. Her primary studies are Be-PrEPared, "Lend Us Your Voice" Project, a qualitative study which examines the lived experience of HIV positive African American women in the South, and the HIV risk assessment study which examines multiple variables associated with contracting HIV, social vulnerabilities, and HIV risk perceptions among African American women. Dr. Parker has written several manuscripts on HIV/AIDS, the intersection of race and gender, and minority health issues, and has served as a guest columnist for the Dallas Morning News and The Body. Her research interest includes social sexual factors that influence HIV transmission and health disparities among vulnerable populations.

Additional Information

You can find an example of the digital stories that will be created for the Health Justice Project here.

Project Backers

  • 27Backers
  • 111%Funded
  • $1,675Total Donations
  • $62.04Average Donation
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