239767 “We need to be heard:” Talking with women and youth about their community

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 11:10 AM

Mary Fabri, PsyD , Heartland Alliance Marjorie Kovler Center, Chicago, IL
Lynn Todman, PhD , Institute on Social Exclusion, Adler School of Professional Psychology, Chicago, IL
Laura Kunard, PhD , Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice, Adler School of Professional Psychology, Chicago, IL
Nadeja Wesley, LCSW , Violence Recovery Services, Heartland Human Care Services, Inc, Chicago, IL
In 1999 while visiting Chicago, President Bill Clinton visited the Englewood neighborhood and declared that it was time to end urban hopelessness. Twelve years later, the predominantly African-American community continues to struggle with issues of poverty, racism, and violence. Approximately 44% live below the poverty level; 41% have not completed high school; and 32% are female headed single parent households. The Adler Institute on Social Exclusion and Heartland Alliance, both Chicago institutions, partnered to interview Englewood women and their daughters (ages 8 to 17 years old) to gather information about the most pressing problems they face in their community. A focus group was conducted with 20 mothers to hear what their concerns were regarding their own lives and those of their daughters and to gain permission to have their daughters participate in focus groups as well. Three focus groups with 15 youth were then conducted over three weeks. Sessions were recorded and transcribed. The themes that emerged in the discussions in all groups included: community violence; mental health; under- and unemployment; and poor access to health care and other social resources. When asked about the underlying causes of these community problems, all focus groups identified racism, unemployment, lack of community cohesion and trust; and poor parenting of children. Input from the women and youth has been incorporated into the development of a summer program for youth and a psychosocial/vocational program for the mothers to address the social determinants within the community and facilitate their economic and psychological empowerment.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Discuss social determinants that contribute to a community's social capital.

Keywords: Social Inequalities, Community Participation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be the abstract author as a licensed clinical psychologist who participated in the design and implementation of the project described in the abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.