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Finding Wyoming's Voices Through Pictures

The Equality State has a rich tradition of grit overcoming adversity, and with that in mind we seek to get a better picture of how Wyomingites perceive both barriers to and opportunities for success, as they pursue educational achievement and employment opportunities across the state.  We also explore perceptions of community resilience in the context of the pandemic, as “two weeks to stop the spread” have turned into more lasting change. 

We’re using Photovoice – a research methodology designed to amplify voices that might otherwise get lost in the noise of daily life. We are asking Wyomingites to share their perspectives through the pictures that they provide of life in their communities. In the project, we’re focusing on the priority areas identified by Governor Mark Gordon, for use of Federal Recovery Plan funds: health & social service, education & workforce, and economic diversity & economic development, which support Wyoming’s Strategy to Survive, Drive and Thrive.

 

We seek to add a rich context to other economic and behavioral data being collected to inform pandemic recovery policy in Wyoming, and particularly to add under-represented individual’s voices from around the state.

Why Now?  Addressing Wyoming’s Opportunities and Challenges

Snowy Range Mountains
Wyoming’s fiscal environment and the COVID-19 pandemic have placed great pressure on the state’s economy and education system, but now have a great opportunity to forge new relationships to bridge long-standing divides across Wyoming, which keep known problems apart from potential solutions. For example, willing prospective employees abound across Wyoming, yet they commonly live apart from their desired employment field and the training needed to attain that employment. Educational attainment is similarly an ongoing challenge. These challenges can be addressed by leveraging effective partnerships, practices, and resources to better understand both pressing problems and proven solutions. This project will thus complement other efforts across the state such as the Governor’s Wyoming Innovation Partnership (WIP) and Wyoming’s Strategy to Survive, Drive, and Thrive.

The Profiles Project is now in the analysis phase.

Thanks to Data Hub funding we are now working on the interactive map and website which should be ready to launch in late August. Our team is now working to process submitted photos and descriptions from communities across Wyoming. Thank you for your participation in the project! We continue to welcome participants to submit photos through the survey link.

Poster for forum, all details in actual text

The Malcolm Wallop Civic Engagement Program is hosting a series of Wyoming resilience community conversations in September in Riverton, Cody and Sheridan. Events are scheduled for:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 27, at the Riverton Branch Library in the Community Room from 5-6 p.m
  • Wednesday, Sept. 28, at the Park County Library in Cody in the Grizzly Room from 5-6 p.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 29, at the Sheridan County Fulmer Public Library in the inner circle from 5-6 p.m.
These conversations build upon the UW Profiles in Wyoming Resilience Research Project, which collected underrepresented community perspectives from a broad range of citizen and stakeholder voices.

 Download the poster. 

 

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Contact Us

Malcolm Wallop Civic Engagement Program

School of Politics, Public Affairs, & International Studies (SPPAIS)

Dept. 3197

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-6119

Email: wallop@uwyo.edu

Malcolm Wallop Civic Engagement Program
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