Photovoice: Using Participatory Action Research with Youth
September 28, 2011
BCTR’s ACT for Youth helped to launch a Photovoice project to amplify youth voice in Rochester, New York. Photovoice is a participatory action research method that allows participants to document, describe, assess, and begin to change critical aspects of their community. Through the process, participants use photography to create a striking visual record of a community’s strengths and weaknesses in relation to a particular issue, engage in critical discussion of the issue, document that discussion, and plan action steps.
ACT for Youth provided training in Photovoice to youth participants and staff of Rochester adolescent HIV prevention programs, including ABC Action Front Center, the City of Rochester, and the MOCHA Center. Youth and adults alike embraced the process with enthusiasm and commitment. The young people involved have gone on to form a cross-agency advisory board, exploring ways to advocate for condom availability, school-based health clinics, and stepped-up comprehensive sexual health education in the Rochester City Schools. Their photos have been exhibited throughout the city and in the online Photovoice video Youth Creating Positive Change in their Community, written and produced by Youth 4 Change at ABC Action Front Center. ACT for Youth is also assisting a similar project launch in New York City.