Disrupting Dehumanizing Narratives of Black Men in Poverty
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, together with visual artist and educator Zun Lee, M.D., and the Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition in the U.S. will tell the stories of traumatic loss, resilience, and quests for economic mobility of young black men in Baltimore to recast them in the national consciousness as human beings deserving of dignity and investment rather than as social problems. In the last decade, the team has documented the unequal burdens of violence and grief faced by this community. They will recruit young men to take part in a Photovoice project and to complete ethnographic interviews about their life course. In addition, the team will employ machine learning to identify hidden barriers to their economic mobility. These approaches will be combined to produce a dynamic digital exhibit that centers the pain and promise of these survivors of violence to engage citizens and leaders in transformative dialogue that affirms the humanity of young black men and deepens awareness about root causes and barriers to their economic mobility.