Photovoice Project

Recent MSW Alumna Jennifer Briggs shares her experiences working on a Photovoice project as recently shared in the Tulsa World: a Photovoice Study on the Strengths and Needs of Oklahomans Living with HIV/AIDS.

Photovoice is a form of community participatory research which combines photography with grass roots social action. The goal of photovoice is to give a platform to members of our community who are often marginalized to share their experience and hopefully garner some kind of social change. Working in collaboration with my practicum site, Tulsa CARES, I served as research coordinator for the project from inception to final exhibition. The seven individuals who participated were recruited from Tulsa CARES, an agency that serves low-income Oklahomans living with HIV/AIDS, and our participants brought to light many of the barriers and positive elements related to living with HIV. Their images and accompanying narratives show us how stigma, mental health issues, and financial barriers impact their lives. Their images and accompanying narratives also show us how faith/religion, community, family, and hope have encouraged them and opened new doors for them since becoming positive. Several of our participants have been living with the illness since the beginning of the epidemic in the mid 1980s, while others are more recently diagnosed. We recently had our opening exhibition at Foolish Things Coffee House on June 16th, and had 60 community members in attendance. We are currently in the process of setting up a partnership with Tulsa Community College. TCC is going to integrate the exhibition into the fall curriculum for both their health promotion majors and their art majors. The exhibition will be on display at TCC's Center for Creativity in late September/early October (dates TBD), and at OU-Tulsa's library throughout the month of November.

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