The mission of the Urban Health Media Project (UHMP) is to teach urban high school students with diverse backgrounds and from under-resourced communities how to report, write and broadcast multimedia stories about the health and social issues affecting their communities and the potential solutions.
It’s been almost three years now, but for students of Parkland, Fla., that lived through that day — even when, like Logan Rubenstein, they were not at the high school when the tragedy took place — the painful and traumatic memories remain.
UHMP in the News
Grief harms the health of the grieving. Studies show bereaved parents are more likely to suffer cardiac events, immune dysfunction, depressive symptoms, dementia and even premature death. Black parents are more at risk. Read the rest of the story by some of our student reporters in The Washington Informer newspaper in Washington, D.C.
Surviving Trauma: Stories About Resilience
It took a long time to get help to cope with a traumatic past for Tamika Spellman, a Black trans woman who leads advocacy at a D.C.-based organization that provides harm reduction services for those engaged in sex work, sex trafficking and drug use. She started therapy in the 1990’s. “It’s something we don’t do and don’t talk about,” Spellman said, but it helped save her life.
Waltkeem Jenkins’s experience of trauma as a child, while not unique, set him on a path to his current job and passion for helping other young people cope with trauma. His story was featured on the cover of the Philadelphia Tribune's Leisure section.
Over just a few months during the pandemic, Elbert Waters, 66, of Miami Lakes, lost five loved ones to COVID-19. The trauma of the pandemic has made finding ways to cope and stay mentally healthy essential.
Basil Binns II, 38, is one of more than 190,000 people in the Miami-Dade area who have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began. In Miami-Dade County, over 3,000 deaths have been reported. Amid so much trauma, finding ways to cope has been crucial.
As a child growing up in Cuba, Anthony Vidal vividly recalls what it was like to go without enough to eat. They rarely had meat, so his family would substitute eggplant in recipes to mimic the texture and flavor. The fear of going without food, a byproduct of the country’s socialist food-rationing policies, was constant and consuming, he said.
What We Are Working on
Students who participate in the Urban Health Media Project work on stories about various social issues such as teen suicide, domestic violence, poverty and mental health stigma. They interview doctors, journalists, politicians and other experts about these issues. Students write and produce their own articles and use facts and statistics to support their points. In addition to writing, students have the opportunity to learn, hands-on, how to use the cameras to shoot photos and capture video and audio.
student journalists trained
stories in USA Today publications
videos on USA Today