Photovoice challenge!

Are you a young Black, Indigenous, or person of color 18-29 living in Winooski or Burlington? Take and caption photos of what’s best about your community, and what most needs to change, and send them to us by July 25, 2022. Then, join us for a discussion on July 29th, where you’ll be paid for your participation, and prizes will be awarded.

Wondering what kind of photos to take? Learn a little more about that, about who we are, and what Environmental Justice is, below the flyer, here.

Q: Who are we?

A: Center for Whole Communities and Rights and Democracy are two organizations working with communities to make it so that the Vermonters most affected by decisions made in the state also have a strong say in those decisions and feel welcomed, ready and able to take part in them.

Q: What is Environmental Justice?

A: Environmental Justice is the idea that the environment isn’t just nature, it’s “where we live, work, play, learn, and worship.” So environmental justice means that everyone benefits equally from healthy, safe, dignified welcoming places, rather than some communities getting to enjoy more of the benefits while other communities get exposed to more of the harms. 

Q: What are we doing?  

A: We teamed up with two Vermont state agencies because they both want to learn how they could listen better and connect better with Vermonters as they do their work. Those agencies are the Vermont DEC, the Department of Environmental Conservation– they’re the State agency in charge of making sure Vermont’s water and air are as safe and clean as possible and letting people know when they find problems or chemicals that could harm them– and the Vermont Agency of Transportation .

Q: Why photovoice? What’s photovoice?

A: They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. Photovoice lets you document problems (harms) and positive things (benefits) you see in the place where you live, by taking a photo and writing a caption telling us where you took it, what it shows, and why it matters. With your permission, we’d like to put these images of how you see the place where you live on the map. We’ll create a map that we can decide if we want to use to work for change in your community, by working with you to put it in front of people who have more power to make changes, and showing them what matters to you.

Harms (problems) might be as concrete as a messed up sidewalk that elders and kids can’t use, or things that aren’t there and need to be, like a missing bus stop, or a great park. They could also be places where you don’t feel welcome or safe or like you belong–any kind of things you need to see change.

Photos of positive things (benefits) could be the places in your neighborhood or city where you do feel at home, happy, relaxed and accepted. They could be things you love, things that are beautiful and dignified and bring you joy. Show us and write about where people you know like to go, things that bring people together, things that work as they should. Share a picture of something small (or big!) that you’d like to see grow.

Q: What else do I need to know about this challenge? A: Please read the flyer (or right after this answer) to learn who can enter, and the deadline. Spread the word! Create a team with your friends!

Some things to remember:

  • Only include photos that you (or someone on your team) took yourself.
  • Remember to include the where, what, and why for each photo you send in–plus who you are and how to contact you! That information can go in the email you send with the photos, to info@wholecommunities.org.
  • Don’t have email? You can print out the photos and captions and mail them to:
    P.O. Box 5483, Burlington, VT 05402, postmarked by June 22, 2022.
  • Please only include photos of people with their permission, and children with their and their parents’ or guardian’s permission.
  • When you send in your photos and descriptions, you are giving us permission to share them, whether or not you win a prize, as long as we credit you. So, please tell us if there are photos that it is NOT okay to share publicly.
  • Join us on July 29th to share your images, receive a stipend, and be eligible to receive one of three prizes!

Can’t read what’s on the flyer? Here’s what it says:

Winooski/Burlington 2022 EJ Event – PhotoVoice Flyer

Share how you see your community!

What do you love about your community–what are the environmental benefits? What do you need to see change–what are the environmental harms?

Challenge runs July 1, 2022 – July 25, 2022

The Rules:

  • Take 2-10 images. For each photo, say where it was taken, what it shows, & why
    • Include at least one image of environmental harm in your community
    • Include at least one image of an environmental benefit in your community
  • Join us at a community meeting July 29th to view the images & claim your prize:
    • 1st Place: $500.00 – 2nd Place: $200.00 – 3rd Place: $50.00
  • Submit your work to: info@wholecommunities.org with your name, age, preferred pronouns, contact information, and community

Questions? Details at http://www.environmentaljusticevt.org/photovoice, or contact Britaney Watson by phone or text (802 274-3435)

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