We believe in the revolutionary things that happen on a southern front porch.
In 1989, Women With A Vision, Inc. (WWAV) was just an idea, thought up by eight Black women on a front porch in Central City New Orleans. From their various health and human services posts across the city, WWAV’s foremothers saw how HIV/AIDS was devastating the Black community. They also saw that not one of the city’s agencies had made the health and wellbeing of Black people a service priority. If their community was going to have access to health promotion tools, the WWAV foremothers knew it was up to them. And so they continued to meet at dusk, after long days of work, to make harm reduction and wellness packets. Into the late hours, they walked the streets of the neighborhoods in which they were raised, talking with those who had at best been forgotten and at worst had been left to die. In this intimate space, they brought people into relationships and into care. They turned neighborhood bars into underground needle exchanges; they brought hope to people who had too little. In so doing, they pioneered a model of community-driven outreach that continues to guide public health research today.
We launch Front Porch Research Strategy in honor of the long legacy of southern women building community, speaking truths, and crafting analysis in the interstices between street and home, between public and private.