ACME Lecture - Prof. Na'Taki Osborne Jelks, Visiting Assistant Professor in Public Health

"Taking Science to the Streets: Community Science and Participatory Approaches to Improve Health and Quality of Life in Urban Areas."


October 26, 2017
1 p.m.
Evans Dining Hall, Terrace Level, A and B

Environmental justice communities, those disproportionately affected by pollutants, are simultaneously exposed to multiple environmental stressors and also experience social and cultural factors that may heighten their health risks in comparison to other communities. Availability of fine-grained, community-level data is limited to support said communities’ appeals for planning and policy changes.

This presentation will describe local community-driven research, advocacy, and public health practice in an environmentally degraded urban community, Northwest Atlanta’s Proctor Creek Watershed, in which watershed residents (community researchers), academics, and non-profit organizations leverage local, community knowledge; community science methods; and digital mapping technology to identify and document local environmental hazards and quality of life stressors. This highly collaborative and interdisciplinary work has helped to improve municipal services and address community health concerns while also demonstrating that the democratization of science can help fill critical data gaps about local conditions and pollution sources, advance environmental justice, and impact changes in implementation of urban policies.