Online Program

No longer an island

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 9:15 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

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 Corps., Milwaukee, WI
Maanaan Sabir, Walnut Way Conservation Corps., 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. With the understanding that involving African American men in research and programmatic efforts is critical to improving their health, we established a Men's Wellness Council in an urban, predominately African American neighborhood characterized by unemployment and poverty. This 25-minute documentary film, produced by filmmaker Darren Alexander Cole, highlights the journey of the Men's Wellness Council (MWC), as members engage in facilitated discussions on the determinants and meaning of health for African American men. Discussions by MWC members brought to light the tremendous isolation and pressure African American fathers and men experience in our community, highlighted by their self-definition as “an island of one.” The men found that the Council's meetings provided the critical space needed to express their authentic self, negotiate life stressors, and learn from experiences of other men. Exceeding our expectations, the MWC proved to be a model for fostering transformative social connections and mentorship across generations. The film demonstrates the depth of the dialogue and relationship-building among Council members and highlights 4 key themes: 1) A Healthy Man Needs Space To Be Authentic, 2) A Healthy Man Is More Than His Physical Health, 3) A Healthy Man Knows Money Is A Tool, and 4) A Healthy Man Leads. The project also resulted in community action recommendations and a proposal to expand place-based outreach efforts to engage men in a social support and leadership network.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe four key factors influencing African American men’s health. Explain how African American men conceptualize their own health.

Keyword(s): African American, Male Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the academic partner (Principal Investigator) on the project for which this documentary was produced. I have led multiple projects using participatory approaches with marginalized and historically under-represented groups of people. My research focuses on the social context of healthy lifestyle.
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.