Iman Shervington, Jarvis DeBerry, Lisa J. Richardson

Iman Shervington, Jarvis DeBerry, Lisa J. Richardson
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana Cohort Start Year: 2016 Population Served: Women's Health

The health and well-being of New Orleans’ most vulnerable has not led recovery efforts post Hurricane Katrina, and we have only recently seen a focus on resiliency that has begun to address the impact of trauma on our communities. People who are exposed to the chronic stressors of poverty, disenfranchisement and systemic inequality, are disproportionately affected by violence and poor health. Through creative media outlets (including film, social/traditional media and journalism), we strive to put health first and address the lingering impact of unresolved trauma in New Orleans.

STRATEGIC INITIATIVE: Education Campaign on Untreated Adolescent Trauma
Joint Initiative (DeBerry, Richardson, Shervington)

Following Hurricane Katrina, there has been a disinvestment in the provision of mental health services in New Orleans. Our initiative will build upon findings the Institute of Women & Ethnic Studies (IWES) compiled assessing the quantity and quality of behavioral health services in the city and will convert a city-wide public will campaign into a social marketing campaign. With cross-sector partnerships and community input at all levels, we will relaunch IWES’ In That Number (ITN) campaign with calls to action in key sectors. 

ITN originally launched in 2016 to educate people on the prevalence and impact of untreated adolescent trauma and to prime the city for further action. The campaign remained active through events, online activities, and a city-wide multimedia presence. ITN will relaunch in summer 2019 through new and traditional media outlets, with a strong focus on print journalism (stories, personal testimonies, op-eds, and editorials) and will feature in-person, community-wide events to pair with each CTA. This work coincides with IWES’ participation in a task force created to make New Orleans a more trauma-informed city. Goals of the project include: 1) changing the conversation around health in the city to ensure the inclusion of social determinants of health and psychological wellbeing, 2) preparing individuals, organizations, and institutions to do their work through a trauma-informed lens, 3) reducing stigma around the utilization of behavioral health services, and 4) catalyzing action to advocate for an increase in both the amount and variety of affordable, quality, and culturally resonant mental health services.

Iman Shervington[Pictured Left to Right]
Director of Media and Communications, Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies
Itranslate health concepts visually and viscerally. For eight years I have combined my film, photography and design skills with my public health background to help communities internalize the value of their health.

Lisa J. Richardson
Director of Research and Evaluation, Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies

I have worked in academy and nonprofit organizations on participatory action research and community-based interventions for more than 20 years. My area of expertise is urban studies and public health.

Jarvis DeBerry 
Columnist and Editorial Board Member,

As an editorial writer and columnist, advocating for my city and region and state comes naturally.

Click here to watch Jarvis’ Legacy Project video.