Digital Storytelling with Grassroot Soccer in South Africa, the Mayo Clinic, and the University of Massachusetts School of Public Health
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StoryCenter Public Health Update – May, 2016

It’s not too late to join our 2016 Public Health Webinar Series …

StoryCenter’s six-part Public Health Webinar Series for this year began in April and continues in mid-June. Learn about how our workshop-based production methods enable participants to share compelling first-person narratives as short videos, and gain insight into the many applications of digital storytelling, for public health. Sign up now for the series (you’ll get a link to the recording of the April session), to receive a discount off the individual webinar price!

Young South African Women Share Powerful Stories From Their Own Lives

Grassroot Soccer is an adolescent health organization that leverages the power of soccer to educate, inspire, and mobilize youth to overcome their greatest health challenges, live healthier, more productive lives, and be agents for change in their communities. We’re proud to share these beautiful stories from our recent work with Grassroot Soccer South Africa. Last month, our Silence Speaks initiative partnered with Grassroot Soccer in Cape Town, to lead a five-day storytelling and participatory media workshop with an amazing group of female mentors who use the power of soccer to teach sexual and reproductive health and rights awareness to adolescent girls. The project was framed as a small-scale study of the value of participatory media, for building a sense of agency and leadership among mentors. The workshop began at Grassroot Soccer’s facility in Khayelitsha and was completed at the U.S. State Department sponsored “American Corner” of the Cape Town Public Library. The young women’s stories, which touch on overcoming gender-bias in sport, surviving gender-based violence, and the resilience it takes to thrive in spite of deeply entrenched structural obstacles to staying healthy, completing an education, and finding viable employment, will be shared at local screenings and conferences in the coming months – including the upcoming International AIDS Conference 2016.

Digital Storytelling as a Health Intervention for Somali and Latino Adults With Type II Diabetes

While Type II Diabetes is higher among immigrants and refugees in the United States than in the general population, many immigrants and refugees are less likely to receive the healthcare information that they need, about the disease. As part of a larger participatory research project, we partnered with the Mayo Clinic, in conjunction with the Rochester Healthy Community Partnership(RHCP), on a digital storytelling project to explore how culturally appropriate, personal stories about healthcare management and challenges can be effective as an intervention to promote health literacy and health behavior change among Latino and Somali immigrants. For more information, read a case study about the project or see article: Njeru et al. “Stories for Change: Development of a Diabetes Digital Storytelling Intervention for Refugees and Immigrants to Minnesota Using Qualitative Methods.” BioMed Central Public Health (2015).

Evaluating Digital Storytelling as a Process for Narrative Health Promotion

We’re happy to announce that a new article based on our collaborative, National Institutes of Health-funded work with the University of Massachusetts School of Public Health is now out! Together with a team of researchers led by our long-time colleague Aline Gubrium, we led a series of digital storytelling workshops with young Puerto Rican Latinas, to explore the effects of participating in the process on their self-esteem, social support, empowerment, and sexual attitudes and behaviors. The authors write, “Reflecting on the digital storytelling process, storytellers spoke of peeling back layers of untruths that they had previously felt compelled to tell to protect themselves and their families from the judgment of others within and outside their community.” The article supports “the need to develop mixed-methods, culturally relevant, and sensitive evaluation tools that prioritize process effects as they inform intervention and public health promotion.” For more information, see article: Gubrium et al. “Measuring Down: Evaluating Digital Storytelling as a Process for Narrative Health Promotion.” Qualitative Health Research (2016).

Partner with us on a Public Health Project ...

Interested in learning more about how narrative methods and participatory media can support your research and practice in public health? Find out how our collaborative project development process works, and contact us for more information. 

Sending all the best,
StoryCenter Public Health Team
May 2016

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