Fostering justice and student connectivity with their community in mind: Using photovoice as a tool

Katrina Black Reed, Zannah Matson, Ja'La D. Brown, Elizabeth A. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When preparing recreation, park, and tourism management majors for a post pandemic world, it is imperative that courses promote students' investigative skills that foster critical thinking about built communities. Various teaching approaches can shape students' knowledge of community characteristics, especially as they learn about leisure and human behavioral trends at the community level. Instructors asked students to use Photovoice to connect the visible and invisible characteristics prevalent among diverse communities. Embedding Photovoice in the classroom allows students to view diverse communities in a different light and provides emerging professionals an opportunity to integrate individual and group perspectives in their classwork as well as their own lived experiences. In addition to uncovering societal injustices, students develop research skills and engage in critical group thinking skills. Students gathered additional perspectives in social justice-based art by partnering with the Mural Arts of Philadelphia, the largest public art program in the country, to highlight how art can display the emotional underpinnings experienced by community members affected by structural barriers. Photovoice allows students to use storytelling to communicate social justice issues in communities and provide instructors with a means to meet students on their individual levels. Storytelling can be seen as more powerful than numbers. Limitations exist when students are unable to share the context of their photos; although photos are data points, they are not to be interpreted without the students' context. Students' interpretations of their community provided insight to real-life issues they experience and allowed instructors to refer to actual community issues to describe classroom concepts when applicable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100484
JournalJournal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Education
StatePublished - Jun 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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