UNMC study looks at lives beyond the statistics

Jan 25, 2018

When Eric Meyer, Ph.D. candidate at UNMC’s College of Public Health, was writing up articles on the research he collected from a yearlong study, he noticed the emotions and feelings of participants weren’t coming through the way he wanted.

Eric Meyer

So in a unique move, Meyer decided to create a production based on his interviews with participants.  “Listen to My Story” was created from a qualitative study Meyer took part in at UNMC’s Center for Reducing Health Disparities.   

The purpose of the study was to put context behind the consequences of violence in Northeast Omaha. 

For the research, Meyer and his colleagues interviewed several mothers with sons who were concerned their children might join street gangs. 

He says they also talked to several men who had spent most of their lives in prison to find out how violence impacted those men’s lives. 

He says participants told researchers how they had been shot or had loved ones killed.

"We spoke to 16 individuals and it was difficult because everyone had really strong narratives.  So we picked the ones that best represented or best encapsulated everyone’s stories.  So we narrowed it down to five individuals and I made characters from those individuals.  And we actually used the narratives that they provided and those are the lines for the script.”

“Listen to My Story: Perspectives of African-American Mothers and Male Offenders on Violence in Omaha, Nebraska” will be presented at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 31st at KANEKO, 1111 Jones Street.

For more information, the website is