Richmond Art Mural

The 2019 YPAR student cohort, led by Alma Andrade (Sr. Research Clinical Coordinator), successfully applied for an Art Grant from the City of Richmond, allowing the group to partner with local artists to translate their findings from their summer research project into art form. The high school students hope this mural will provide an avenue to inform their local community about the rich assests of Richmond and contrast with how social disorder and environment hazards impact overall health of its residents.

From previous research, we know that asthma, stress, and environment are strongly linked. The prevalence of asthma in California is approximately 13% and in Richmond, CA, it approaches 25% -- asthma attack rates are almost double the state rate. Furthermore, there is very little ground level community driven data that explains the correlation between asthma; air pollution and community members’ lived experiences within their neighborhoods.

As part of their summer research project, our 6 high school students (ages 14-17) wanted to answer how asthma, stress, and environment were linked and the impact  on residents in the Richmond community. Students integrated a Youth Participatory Action Research Approach to answer their research question. They identified neighborhoods and walk paths and, using an audit tool, systematically collected information on “order” and “disorder” present (e.g. thrash, schools, etc). Students found that neighborhoods with fewer disorders have higher incomes, high percentage of home ownership and fewer asthma ED visit rates, while neighborhoods with more disorders struggle with lower incomes and increased asthma ED visit rates. 

As the summer concluded, the students felt compelled inform their local community members about their findings and felt creating a mural in the city was an exciting avenue to express through colorful animations. Disorders (e.g., litter, alcohol bottles, cigarettes) are featured on the left and assets to the right (e.g., park with playground, access to fruits/vegetables, children playing). The mural features Dr. William Jenkins facing assets portraryed in the mural. His devotion to serve the underserved and continuity of care was monumental to Richmond residents.