Online Program

No longer an island: Results from the lindsay height's men's wellness council

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Amy E. Harley, PhD, MPH, RD, Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
Jessie Tobin, MPH, Walnut Way Conservation Corp., Milwaukee, WI
Maanaan Sabir, Walnut Way Conservation Corp, Milwaukee, WI
David A. Frazer, MPH, Center for Urban Population Health, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Milwaukee, WI
Tyler Weber, MPH, Walnut Way Conservation Corps, Milwaukee, WI
Cacy Odom-Williams, MBA, Center for Urban Population Health, UW Collaborative Center for Health Equity, Milwaukee, WI
African American men bear the burden of stunning disparities in health, including the highest mortality rates in the country, yet they are under-represented in health research and health promotion programs. Understanding that involving African American men in research and programmatic efforts is critical to improving this population's health, we established a Men's Wellness Council (MWC) in an urban, predominately African American neighborhood characterized by unemployment and poverty. The purpose of the MWC project was to engage the Council in: 1) facilitated discussions on the determinants and meaning of health for African American men; 2) a qualitative analysis of those discussions; 3) the development of a neighborhood action plan for African American men's health; and 4) the production of a documentary of the Council's experience. Key themes about African American men's health emerged across three levels of the social ecological model. Intrapersonal level themes included the ability to be authentic and the influence of hopelessness/healing. Interpersonal level themes included valuing intergenerational and social connections. Societal level themes included pervasive issues of racism and power in their daily lives. Recommendations for community action that emerged from the discussions will also be presented. Clips from the documentary film will illustrate the findings in the men's own words. To conclude, lessons learned from an iterative, participatory process with a historically marginalized group of men will be presented. Authentic engagement of African American men in health promotion requires innovative approaches; is critical to reducing disparity rates; and exemplifies a community-engaged, justice-based approach to public health.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe six key factors influencing African American men’s health. Identify three recommendations for community action for African American men’s health that emerged from a Council of African American men. Discuss lessons learned from engaging a historically marginalized group in participatory research.

Keyword(s): Male Health, African American

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the academic partner on this research project. My academic training and professional experience include public health, participatory research, marginalized populations, and qualitative methods.
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.