It is the desire of ABIPA to not only participate in research, but to make it come alive and be assessible to community members at large. This exhibit was a wonderful opportunity to partner with long standing and new partners to translate research in a beautiful way.
Black in Black on Black: Making the Invisible Visible is a visual conversation about the lives and contributions of Black/African American communities in Western North Carolina (WNC). Bringing together stunning artwork by WNC-based artists Ann Miller Woodford and Viola Spells and photographer Ronda Birtha with social science data and stories, this exhibit invites audiences into an often invisible history of our region. Research, charts, and quotes are from the Heart of Health: Race, Place, and Faith in WNC project, a three-year community-participatory research study that seeks to better understand the role and impact of race and racism on health.
Deeply personal art is integrated with charts and quotes from the Heart of Health: Race, Place, and Faith in Western North Carolina project. Heart of Health is a three-year community-participatory research study that seeks to better understand the role and impact of race and racism on health through secondary data analyses and interviews. It is co-led by researchers from UNC Asheville, ABIPA, and Sparrow Research, and community partners from around WNC. “One of our first findings was that much of the data on African Americans and drivers of health and inequities, for example land and business ownership, have been suppressed due to small populations or other reasons. This collaborative research seeks to highlight and encourage responsible collection and use of data and stories,” said Ameena Batada, UNC Asheville professor and one of the co-leads on the Heart of Health project.
Support for this project was provided by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Interdisciplinary Research Leaders program. Learn more about the exhibit, artists, and research at The Heart of Health: Race, Place and Faith in Rural Western North Carolina, Ann’s Tree, Thinly Folded Egg, Zenobia Studio, and Pro 16 Productions.