Are you looking for examples of how others have used spoken word to discuss public health topics? We've got you covered.
In "The Wrong Side of History || Gun Violence... It's Time to Talk About It," this poet takes gun control and packages it into something emotional, thought-provoking and artful, something you can really connect with.
This type of delivery is more effective than any infographic, image or video that I’ve seen thus far. Why? Because it told a story. It took us on a journey, asking key questions in the debate for better gun control. And it kept me listening. What about you?
What made this spoken word especially educational was the way in which statistics were weaved into the lines.
The cadence and rhythm took those numbers and percentages and transformed them into something greater, like characters or plot lines in a story.
Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault
In this poetry slam performance, aired during an episode of ABC’s American Crime, the poet talks about his sexual assault in such a way that I thought and felt, for a second, like I understood his experience. How powerful is that? What did you think/feel?
Unlike the previous example, this spoken word poem is devoid of statistics and facts. It is purely testimonial, conveying the truth of a male rape victim, a voice not too often heard.
Teaming up with spoken word poets to share information and messages around public health issues could be a novel form of influencer marketing. There is an opportunity here and we owe it to ourselves and the public, as health communicators, to explore and research the efficacy of this method for sharing health-related information.
Do you have any other examples of spoken word on public health issues or know of any literature looking at the efficacy and effectiveness of spoken word for health communication? Share them in the comments below.
By: Monique Thornton, MPH