A creative and educational initiative to raise awareness ​of the impact weathering has in the lives of

black women.

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"What I've seen over the years of my research and lifetime is that the stressors that impact people of color are chronic and repeated through their whole life course, and in fact may even be at their height in the young adult-through-middle-adult ages rather than in early life. And that increases a general health vulnerability — which is what weathering is."

Dr. Arline Geronimus

Public Health Researcher

University of Michigan

Director's Statementt

Joanna White-Oldham

About ten years ago, I developed a mysterious illness that none of my doctors were able to ​diagnose. It seemed to come out of nowhere. One day I was fine, the next day, I was using a ​walker. The fight to save myself is what opened my eyes to the racial disparities in healthcare ​and the harder I fought, the more knowledge I gained about my condition. But with educating ​myself came the ability to discern that the physiological breakdown I was experiencing was not ​‘all of sudden’, but was, in fact, cumulative. 

At the time, I was unaware that there was any research to support my intuition, but as time ​passed and more friends and family members began to share similar experiences, I sought it out. ​It was then that I learned about Arline Geronimus’ research, which provides indisputable ​evidence of the differences in health outcomes for black women. Geronimus makes a direct ​correlation with these outcomes to racism, which causes extreme stress within our bodies and ​destroys our very existence.

In our everyday lives we are challenged with navigating through harmful behaviors directed ​towards us, not only for ourselves, but for our children and so, this project is framed in a story of ​a woman’s effort to complete an everyday task. Weathering is styled carefully to invoke a visceral ​reaction from those unfamiliar with this struggle and to validate the feelings of those that are.

Through this project, I hope to generate an empathetic response that stimulates actionable ​discourse and leads to the dismantling of systemic abuse.


Lecture Series

The educational component of The Weathering Project is designed to deepen understanding about the various ​manifestations in the bodies and minds of black women, while emphasizing practical solutions and strategies to ​mitigate its impact.

The goal is to bring together experts from diverse disciplines to stimulate interdisciplinary discussions and ​promote actionable initiatives to combat the challenges weathering presents.


Learn how chronic stress and social factors ​impact the health of black women, leading to ​physiological dysregulation and health ​consequences.


Discussion on the psychological implications

of chronic stress and weathering.


Learn about the influence of weathering on ​reproductive health including fertility and ​maternal outcomes.


Discussion on integrating solutions into ​healthcare policy, public health programs and ​community programs.

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A short film by Joanna White-Oldham​

Workshopped at Sundance Collab


A woman's routine trip to pick up her children after work, turns into a fight for her life as people in her neighborhood turn against her.

Film Summary

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Workshopped in Sundance Collab's Creative Producing Lab, Weathering is surrealist allegorical horror film that ​examines the realities of living as a black woman in America. Set in modern day Brooklyn, the story is told via a ​hair raising encounter the main character experiences while attempting to pick up her children after work.

On her journey she encounters people who represent different aspects of society that taunt her at varied levels of ​intensity. Eva struggles to determine what is real vs what she is imagining, as the vitriol directed towards her for ​simply walking down the street in her own neighborhood is unimaginable. Each negative interaction she has ​results in a gradual breakdown of her physical and mental state.

One by one, the people join together to form a mob following behind her. Initially, she is unaware she is being ​followed, but when she realizes she is in danger, she takes measures to save herself. The mob becomes ​increasingly hostile with each attempt she makes to remain safe.

Does she survive or will her children be left without a mother?

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Social Impact

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The health and morality disparities that exist for Black women are at disasterous proportions. This is a global crisis.

By drawing attention to the systematic factors that contribute to the weathering of Black women with this film, we hope to generate discussion that leads to reform on both political and institutional levels.

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Visually and thematically,​ Weathering is a mashup of​ three genres, each with a​ specific purpose; mirroring th​e experiences of Black women​.


Routine activities and interactions are often turned upside down with disastrous results.


Violence against women is a common occurrence resulting in fear, shock, physical and psychological distress.


The struggle of Black women to exist as human beings often leads to moods of pessimism and depression.

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Artistic Approach

Close ups that center Eva within the frame, connect the audience with her emotional state.

Artistic Approach

Mise en scéne will establish the ​power structure within Weathering. ​Eva is the center of attention, yet ​has NO power.

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Fundraising for this this project will be a combination of grant applications and a crowdfunding campaign on Fractured Atlas.

Our plan is to initiate contact and build relationships with women's healthcare organizations, researchers and epidemiologists prior to the launch of the campaign to gather extensive supporting evidence and garner support.

Networks that exist within The Woodshed ​Network, the Alliance of Women Directors ​and Women of Color Unite will also be ​leveraged for additional support.


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Contact Us

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