Why I Like Trenton & Why You Should Too

NJHI 2015: Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey – Communities Moving to Action Trenton Healthy Food Network - Growing a Healthier Trenton

To showcase community pride — and expand its community outreach — Trenton Health Team (THT) launched a  #WhyILikeTrenton photo contest that lifts up Trenton’s greatest asset: its people — diverse, resilient, creative, hard-working and caring.

Using social media and traditional media, THT invited photographers to share images and comments throughout April to highlight Trenton’s assets and talent.

THT awarded prizes for “Most Likes” and enlisted local social media influencers Leon Rainbow, a mural artist; La’Keisha Sutton, a professional basketball player with the Harlem Globetrotters; and Sino Lawery, a fashion and lifestyle mogul, to each select a favorite from more than 50 photos. (view the online photo gallery)

The winners reflect the diversity of Trenton: a filmmaker who relocated from New York, a Trenton native promoting positivity in his hometown, and a seventh-grader who captured the joy of friendship among her classmates at a local charter school. Each winner received $200 –$100 to keep, and $100 to donate to a local nonprofit of their choice.

The contest more than tripled Trenton Health Team’s social media network, enhancing community visibility and credibility. In June, THT partnered with a local art gallery to participate in the city’s First Friday events with an opening reception for a month-long exhibit of selected photo entries. This will expand awareness of Trenton Health Team among downtown business owners and patrons and the city’s vibrant arts community.

Like so many American cities, Trenton suffers from significant health disparities driven largely by “upstream” conditions such as poverty, structural racism, food insecurity, and childhood trauma. But, as the faces of hope and determination found in the photo contest prove, those challenges do not define Trenton.

Looking more deeply at the factors influencing health, as well as Trenton’s challenges and assets, the Trenton Health Team is now operating with a broader understanding of what health and well-being, and health equity, mean for the city, and finding new activities and strategies to connect individuals and organizations to help achieve THT’s Vision for a Healthy Trenton.

The Grantee Blog publishes a different NJHI-supported community’s update every week. Bookmark this site to stay up-to-date and share in the work of building healthier communities across New Jersey.
Michelle Ruess
Trenton Health Team