When we think of the definition of “public health,” we often think of it in narrow, clinical terms: health insurance, access to hospitals, or patient care.
However, public health is much more expansive than that. There is a deep history of social, racial, gendered, and economic inequity that denies certain communities the right to heal – the effects of which we feel in the present day. One’s gender, one’s ethnicity, and even one’s zip code tragically predicts health prognosis.
In partnership with The Earl B. & Loraine H. Miller Foundation, we equip youth with research tools through the “popular scholarship” framework. Although we work with data and academic articles, we are guided by the principle of community and personal narratives as the holders of expertise.
The 2022 cohort, composed of 25 youth from Long Beach, are creatively advocating for stronger public health measures by writing and distributing a printed ‘zine touching on a variety of research topics. This involved weekly meetings on reproductive rights, sexual harassment, substance abuse and harm reduction, research justice, and mental health.
The ‘zine also includes a resource guide to low-cost clinics, with art, poetry, and prose from the youth to increase access to neglected communities in Long Beach. The Miller Project pairs this with a text hotline to continue to bridge this gap of accessibility, featuring digital distribution of the youth’s multimedia projects (videos, animations, and social media infographics) that continue to elevate awareness around the texting hotline.
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