‘Voices Unbound’ seminar looks at disenfranchised communities


Like so many things, a person’s understanding of environmental issues can depend on different factors, from economic status, to race and ethnicity, to politics and culture. An upcoming seminar hosted by the Puget Sound Institute on March 22nd at 10:00 AM will look at these perspectives and will talk about some of the ways that disenfranchised voices can be increasingly heard in environmental policy discussions. The seminar features UW Tacoma Nursing professor Dr. Robin Evans-Agnew, who will describe the ‘Voices Unbound’ project. The project surveyed more than a thousand people in Pierce County about their environmental concerns.

Voices Unbound: Amplifying Perspectives of Disenfranchised Communities to Provoke Environmental Change

What do people think about environmental challenges and what do they do every day to survive those challenges?

A considerable gap exists among the discourses of those who implement environmental policies and the underrepresented communities that disproportionately experience environmental issues. In order to address this, Voices Unbound asks people throughout Pierce County to document environmental challenges that are impacting them and their community by using enviro-postcards.

Over seven months between 2019 and 2020, we stood in the street, behind booths, in the sunshine and the rain, asking passers-by to fill out a postcard to answer these two questions. We chose places where we wouldn’t necessarily find the sorts of people who already had a voice: outside the State Fair, in senior centers, amongst those experiencing homelessness, in parks, outside an ice-skating rink, and in local outdoor markets. We collected over 1000 postcards before the coronavirus outbreak took over everyone’s consciousness. Now, we invite you to listen in as we present selections of the postcards we collected and discuss our experiences.

The project also created a podcast series to amplify community voices.

Co-Principal Investigators: Christopher J. Schell, School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Tacoma; Robin A. Evans-Agnew, School of Nursing and Healthcare Leadership, UW Tacoma.

Co-Investigators: Tom Koontz and Joel Baker, School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Tacoma.

When: 10:00 AM

Where: Join by Zoom

Meeting ID: 973 9182 7146
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