Jennifer Lucky

Jennifer Lucky
Project Director
jlucky[at]humanimpact.org

Jennifer Lucky joined Human Impact Partners in 2008 after receiving her Master’s degree in public health from the University of California, Los Angeles. In addition to conducting HIA, Jennifer currently leads Human Impact Partners’ HIA training program. She has a particular interest in bridging the gap between scientific research and community advocacy through community-based participation in efforts to address environmental health and justice issues. Jennifer has experience developing and facilitating educational training programs for diverse audiences. In Los Angeles, she worked with community based organizations and the University of Southern California to develop and facilitate a “Goods Movement 101” focused on the health impacts of international trade, and with the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research Jennifer co-facilitated the Health DATA “Datos y Democracia” training that builds capacity of community organizations to access and use data to advance their programs and policy goals. Prior to attending UCLA’s School of Public Health, Jennifer worked as community organizer and educator in the San Francisco Bay Area. Jennifer received her B.S. in Natural Resource Ecology and Management at the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment.

“I’ll take Housing Conditions for $100, Alex”

At HIP we’re lucky to have the opportunity to work with all kinds of people and places. Last year I worked with folks in rural Virginia on the health impacts of converting poultry litter into energy, while at the same time partnering with advocates in urban Southern California to evaluate the impact of redevelopment plans on housing costs. Usually the stakeholders we work with – government agencies, university staff, leaders from community and advocacy groups – are familiar with the ideas and terms in our materials. But we have less experience conducting in-depth Health Impact Assesssments with actual residents of communities who may have varying degrees of  education and language fluency.

When we embarked on a new project with local community partners to analyze the health impacts of building a new football stadium in downtown Los Angeles, we planned to move forward using our typical set of materials. But as we met with residents, including some who spoke only Spanish, we realized we needed to do something to make the information more accessible.

During our first meeting, we started out by presenting Powerpoint slides filled with data. But in contrast to our typical trainings and workshops, we did not see a lot of head nodding – mostly just blank stares. We could quickly tell that the formal style of communication we are so comfortable with  was not resonating with this audience.

So before the next meeting we worked hard to make our materials more accessible. The answer?

JEOPARDY!

At the meeting residents attending the meeting formed three teams (one for Spanish speakers.) The teams were given 20 minutes to review a handout with data about existing health conditions in the community.   Here are some examples of the information in the handouts.

Then we played Jeopardy! – just like on TV, but with categories related to the HIA.

Questions were all based on the information presented in the handout. The correct answers were shown after each round, points were tallied and the winning team got a prize.  A complete set of the Jeopardy materials used in this exercise are available here.

The game was a great way to engage the residents and discuss some of the astonishing findings about how the local community has been changing over the past decade.  From our community partners we also learned a lot about balancing our intensive agenda with energizing and light-hearted activities, and facilitating participatory processes to help reach consensus on things like HIA recommendations. We came away inspired to continue to think creatively about how we engage stakeholders in our HIAs.