Photovoice: A Community Activism Project Girls Incorporated

Lowell, MA USA

This project was an after-school activity of Girls Incorporated of Greater Lowell in 2001. Project goals were to identify resources and challenges in Lowell communities as seen from the perspectives of adolescent girls. Girls Inc. members portrayed resources and needs in their communities using photographs and written captions, and reached policymakers and decision-makers through an exhibit at City Hall. The project was sponsored by Girls Incorporated of Greater Lowell, with funding from the Association for American University Women.

This is one of the many cracks in our dance floor at the high school. Cracks like this are unsafe and can cause major injuries. Our dance teacher has made numerous complaints to the school about this problem. I hope that including this photo will get the floor fixed and that my dance teacher does not get in trouble, because this was my idea.

My family is everything to me. This is a picture of my aunt and my baby sister. My aunt is very special to me because she is very cool and teaches me things about life. She is a role model and she is like another mother. I love my Mom just the same, they are both very cool. My baby is very special to me because she is premature and she is so precious. When I look at her I see myself as being a role mode. She makes me smile when I’m down.

– Kerry age-17

—Jessica, age 14

"I took photos of my family, my friends, my community, and many other problems and resources. For example, I took a picture of bagged trash. This is a resource—everyone should bag their trash instead of polluting the environment. Taking pictures for photovoice, I found that there was a lack of caring in my community and lots of pollution. I found that taking pictures and showing them to our community could really make a difference.”

— Jennifer Sanchez, a six-year photovoice participant and Girls Inc. member