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What's your WHY? Billboard Campaign Features Smoketown Residents and Students

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New billboards featuring area residents and students from Meyzeek Middle School will run in Louisville’s Smoketown neighborhood from April through June 2018. The What’s your WHY? Campaign is the brainchild of IDEAS xLab and the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness. The campaign is designed to counter the toxic mix of advertising for unhealthy products often found in urban neighborhoods and encourages residents to manage their diabetes and to quit smoking.

“Our 2017 Health Equity Report highlights that root causes such as the built environment and neighborhood development deeply impact how healthy you will be and how long you will live,” said Dr. Sarah Moyer, director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness. “We are happy to be working with IDEAS xLab on this campaign.  The campaign focuses on what local people have done to accomplish personal goals and improve their health. Neighborhood residents and students are using positive advertising to take ownership of their own health and begin to change the conversation in their community.” 

The photographs for the campaign were taken by Josh Miller, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of IDEAS xLab. “We’ve seen from the literature that just as lead puts a chemical toxin into the environment, negative, concentrated outdoor advertising can put a social toxin into the environment based on the content it promotes,” he said. “This is our 3rd campaign to lift up an intergenerational set of faces and voices who represent the positive aspects of our neighborhood and remind people that ‘Smoketown is worthy!’”

The Justice League, a group of students from Meyzeek Middle School, appears in the billboard design on YouthBuild Louisville’s campus. Artist Hannah Drake of IDEAS xLab who helped organize the group said, “The Justice League students from Meyzeek Middle School are such a bright representation of the future.  That future means that everyone should have the opportunity to live a healthy life - mind, body and soul. I’m proud that these students are vocal and ready to create change and challenge others to do the same.”

In addition to the billboards, IDEAS xLab and their research partners will also be measuring hope and evaluating the impact of this positive approach to community-directed health literacy. To learn more about the What’s your WHY? campaign, attend the launch of the Year of Arts, HeALIng, and Action! on April 13, when artist Hannah Drake will present the new campaign and ideas behind its creation.

Learn more visit: 

Visit for help quitting smoking or call 502-574-6333 for more information on Diabetes Resources in Louisville.

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