- Felecia L. Lucky
- Lilanta Joy Bradley
- Joyce (Jen) E. Nickelson
Research Project Description
Wilcox County, Alabama is a rural, persistent poverty county (>20% living in poverty for 30 years), ranked among the state's least healthy counties. The largely Black population has high obesity rates with poor access to physical activity and grocery stores. The aims of the project are to identify: 1. In what ways do racism, rurality and childhood obesity impact the lived experience of families of Wilcox Co. Head Start (HS) children? 2. What strategies are necessary to build community power and how do we mobilize this power to modify identified structural causes of childhood obesity? To successfully address structural racism's impact on childhood obesity, solutions should be co-designed with those impacted in a community-based participatory (CBPR) approach.
Our IRL team will create a Community Advisory board of past and current HS families and will involve community members in all study phases, from data collection/analysis/dissemination to strategy development/implementation/evaluation. We will use a case study approach to explore the intersection of racism, rurality and obesity from a life course perspective focusing on birth to five years old. The case study will use a mixed methods design featuring qualitative methods including photovoice, focus groups and key informant interviews; and quantitative methods using HS, county-level and demographic data to further define and describe the case. This project will highlight the lived experiences of 4 to 5 HS families. Data collected will inform community-power building activities, with a focus on education and policy strategies as the literature suggests. Strategies will include education, awareness raising, disseminating research findings and coalition building. Though we have proposed specific activities to answer research questions, in the spirit of CBPR, we will remain reflexive to community feedback, results as they become available and the community's current social climate.
Felecia L. Lucky
Felecia Lucky is the President of the Black Belt Community Foundation. After a career in finance, Felecia returned to Alabama and fell in love with the idea of building a foundation with the people when she joined the Black Belt Community Foundation. BBCF was established to strengthen Alabama's 12 poorest counties known collectively as the Black Belt. BBCF has partnered with philanthropic organizations who invest in community driven transformation.
Lilanta Joy Bradley
Dr. Lilanta Joy Bradley is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Medicine and Population Health at the University of Alabama. As a population health scholar, her research interests are centered around intersections of race, reproductive health, sexual health, and gender. Her overarching research agenda includes working with communities of color to address and assist in co-creating solutions to the health disparities that continue to persist in the South.
Joyce (Jen) E. Nickelson
Jen Nickelson, PhD, RD, MCHES® is an Associate Professor of Health Science at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Her research focuses on understanding social and environmental influences on children's eating behaviors, breastfeeding, childhood obesity prevention, and maternal and child health issues. She has experience using community-based participatory research methods and values the inclusion of community members in the research and development of programs affecting them.