Community-based Approaches to Reducing Health Inequities and Fostering Environmental Justice Through Global Youth-engaged Citizen Science
King, AC; Odunitan-Wayas, FA; Chaudhury, M; Rubio, MA; Baiocchi, M; Kolbe-Alexander, T; Montes, F; Banchoff, A; Sarmiento, OL; Bälter, K; Hinckson, E; Chastin, S; Lambert, EV; González, SA; Guerra, AM; Gelius, P; Zha, C; Sarabu, C; Kakar, PA; Fernes, P; Rosas, LG; Winter, SJ; McClain, E; Gardiner, PA
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Growing socioeconomic and structural disparities within and between nations have cre-ated unprecedented health inequities that have been felt most keenly among the world’s youth. While policy approaches can help to mitigate such inequities, they are often challenging to enact in under-resourced and marginalized communities. Community-engaged participatory action research provides an alternative or complementary means for addressing the physical and social environmental contexts that can impact health inequities. The purpose of this article is to describe the application of a particular form of technology-enabled participatory action research, called the Our Voice citizen science research model, with youth. An overview of 20 Our Voice studies occurring across five continents indicates that youth and young adults from varied backgrounds and with interests in diverse issues affecting their communities can participate successfully in multiple contributory research processes, including those representing the full scientific endeavor. These activities can, in turn, lead to changes in physical and social environments of relevance to health, wellbeing, and, at times, climate stabilization. The article ends with future directions for the advancement of this type of community-engaged citizen science among young people across the socioeconomic spectrum.