Issue 11.1-11.2 | Fall 2012/Spring 2013 / Guest edited by Elizabeth Bernstein and Janet R. Jakobsen

Detroit Youth Passages Photovoice Project

This photovoice project increased awareness about issues of violence and sexual vulnerabilities to youth, their communities, and policy makers through photo exhibitions and other community events. Youth learned photography skills, interacted in group settings, engaged in critical discussions about important issues affecting their health, wrote reflective stories about their photos, and engaged in policy change efforts. Youth photos depict the need to address economic devastation and built environment degradation in order to prevention violence in their communities. Youth presented policy makers and community leaders with an “insider’s” perspective of the issues facing youth communities with the hope of promoting policy change.

About the Detroit Youth Passages Project

Using a praxis based approach, Detroit Youth Passages (DYP) is a four-year Ford Foundation funded project that strives to “amplify voices, promote understanding, and create change”. Working with Latino youth and young African American women, both female born and transgender, DYP seeks to examine and positively transform the structural conditions that contribute to sexual inequalities, and is a partnership between researchers at the University of Michigan and Florida International University, and the close involvement of community partner organizations including: Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation (DHDC), Alternatives For Girls (AFG), and the Ruth Ellis Center (REC). Though young people were invited to participate on the DYP steering committee from its inception, project leadership recognized the importance of a youth driven space from which young people could help shape the project’s direction and lead activities with greater autonomy. The youth advisory board (YAB) was established in spring 2011, comprised of nine representatives between 18-24 years of age from communities served by the Detroit-based partner organizations, DHDC, AFG, and REC. In addition to the photovoice project, the YAB has implemented numerous creative, educational, and coalition-building activities transcending diverse sexual and ethnic minority communities in Detroit.

To read more about the Detroit Youth Passages project, visit the project website.