KING COUNTY, WA – Mapping Our Voices for Equality (MOVE), a new online map and digital storytelling website launches today. MOVE features on-going changes that improve healthy eating and physical activity and create tobacco-free environments in King County. The website showcases over seventy-five multi-lingual digital stories produced by community members and a local map that illustrates policies changes that are improving health.
“MOVE provides a forum for voices from the community as well as a visually interesting way to capture the exciting changes that are happening in King County” said Dr. David Fleming, Director and Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County.
The MOVE website includes:
- First person narratives about the personal impact of health inequities, such as lack of access to healthy food
- A mapping interface for exploring which housing developments and campuses have become “smoke free” in 2011
- An extensive “take action” section with information on how to effect change
“Through the MOVE website, community members have become more involved in creating positive changes for their communities while learning new technologies,” said Natasha Freidus, Project Manager for MOVE.
MOVE is part of on-going chronic illness prevention efforts in King County, through Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW), a federally-funded campaign to fight obesity and tobacco use.
Take a look, www.mappingvoices.org
After more than a year in the making, the Mapping Our Voices for Equality project is just a few short weeks away from launching! Please click on www.mappingvoices.org after October 20th, when our website goes live. We'll be featuring over seventy stories produced by local community members in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Mandarin, and Cantonese about healthy eating, active living, and tobacco prevention. Or join us in person when we take MOVE on the road, showing our stories and the maps of changes we've made in our neighbhorhoods to local decision-makers. Contact us if you have any questions!
After our getting our feet wet this spring in conducting virtual trainings, we're launching another series with HP's Office for Global Social Innovation this October. In the meantime, we've been experimenting with other platforms and models for virtual workshops. In fact, we're finding this approach so effective that we're hoping to launch open virtual workshops in early 2012 for individuals and organizations interested in community digital storytelling who can't make it to one of our in-person workshops. Interested? Get in touch!
I recently returned to the Hopland Band of Pomo Indians in Hopland, CA to do a follow-up training with the group there on Solid Waste Management Stories and was surprised to find that almost everyone from the original training returned to create another story. I was even more happy (in a bittersweet way) to see that despite my mental and material preparation, they really didn't need me all that much this time around. Our Train-the-Trainer models work best that way, we've found, when we start out with an intensive production workshop, and then during subsequent visits, step back a little more each time as former participants step up and take the lead as "coaches" and develop ways to make the process their own. Since Tasha and I share a history as Community Organizers and Adult Education Instructors, firmly rooted in the Participatory Education Model, we carry the "Iron Rule" into our work as consultants (and parents!): "Don't do for others what they can do for themselves." Theories aside, the new batch of stories were insightful, compelling and artfully done in ways that I couldn't have expected. And the group gained a stronger level of technical confidence by coaching each other through the process.
The ten stories that were created through this project all touch upon the Tribe's need to deal with trash dumping in their community. It affects the environment, it affects the traditional food sources and it affects the long-term health of the community. The goal is to not only show them periodically to community members during monthly "Movie Nights" to start a dialogue locally, but to also show them in January at a National EPA conference to raise awareness of the urgency of this issue in their lives. Check out Ben's Story on our site to see an example.
Every time I meet a new community and listen to authentic stories told creatively and from the heart about issues that are important to them, my life is touched too. It's impossible in this kind of work, I think, to not be affected. This topic really hit home for me, though and I'm grateful for these lessons brought to light by our friends in Hopland.