- Kwame Owusu-Daaku
- Christian Wells
- Dannie Bolden
Research Project Description
North Port St. Joe (NPSJ) is the historically African American segregated neighborhood of Port St. Joe (PSJ), FL. For 61 years, NPSJ was adjacent to a polluting paper mill. The location of NPSJ has directly led to worse health outcomes in comparison to the rest of PSJ, which Hurricane Michael in 2018 and COVID-19 in 2020, compounded. The residents of NPSJ have, throughout the years, made many attempts to improve their condition but have received insufficient support from their city government, particularly with grant applications or attracting investments into NPSJ—as a result of structurally racist policies.
Thus, this project seeks to address the following research question: "Can intentional, authentic, and sustained engagement between NPSJ and the City of PSJ and other stakeholders, in a facilitated and exploratory environment, improve previously strained relationships, expose and address structural racism, and start to develop trust to catalyze health equity?"
We intend to address the following question through the use of transformative scenario planning (TSP) -a process that brings together a group of diverse, and influential actors, often too polarized in their positions to commit to collective action. TSP assists these actors to convene to create stories of the future about what could happen. The five-step TSP process creates an understanding of possibilities to inspire action. The final purpose of a TSP process is that the system being reimagined is itself changed. Since the system in this case is the structural racism that perpetuates health inequity in NPSJ, representatives with influence in this system will be able to shift their perception of the system of health in PSJ so that they can take action to create the future they collaboratively re-imagined. This project will also advance the cause of grassroots efforts in addressing structural racism in health and connecting people to each other to create a Culture of Health.
Kwame Owusu-Daaku, a qualitative geoscientist, currently researches the impacts of climate change and pollution on marginalized groups in coastal and inland coastal communities and the efforts of these groups to build resilience to these impacts. Specifically, he is interested in the ways in which climate change adaptation and brownfield redevelopment influence the practice of planning, producing new and unique impacts on marginalized populations in both rural and urban settings, locally and internationally.
Christian Wells, a mixed-methods anthropologist, engages in outcome-driven research, working primarily in the environmental justice/brownfields redevelopment sector. In this research, he works closely with communities using participatory-action research on environmental justice challenges to build capacity for community-driven, context-sensitive solutions using a precision intervention approach.
Dannie Bolden, a business administrator and program developer, has extensive experience in the areas of non-profit organizational startup and board training, program development and implementation, community redevelopment, and individual and community wealth building.