Interview With Ivan Juzang, Founder of MEE Productions
If you are a regular listener of the podcast, then you’ve likely heard a recent special promotional announcement from one of our sponsors, MEE Productions. In this episode, you will meet the founder of MEE Productions, Ivan Juzang. Learn about his journey into public health, and his passion to address health disparities and public health issues affecting underserved and devalued communities.
Meet Ivan Juzang
Ivan J. Juzang has over two decades of practical, first-hand experience running a behavior health communications business he founded during his final year at The Wharton Graduate School of Business.
Over the past 24 years, Mr. Juzang has become a leading expert in the field of social marketing and behavior change communications, producing and implementing results-oriented intervention campaigns that address health, educational and social disparities that impact low-income, underserved communities.
He conducts qualitative audience research that provides an “insider’s view” of the challenging daily realities of urban living, and combines it with creative, “outside the box” media production and grassroots community mobilization strategies.
Ivan Juzang has worked on health disparities and public health issues affecting low income, underserved and devalued communities. MEE’s target audiences include Black and Latino teens, young adults, parents, MSM & the LGBTQ community and boys & men of color.
Mr. Juzang has focused on identifying the barriers, arguments and counter-arguments related to helping communities of color improve their health outcomes and engage low-income urban audiences in healthier behaviors by making informed choices.
Mr. Juzang’s work also focuses on how service providers, community-based organizations and the public health community can present street-credible, authentic and culturally-relevant health information in such a way that lifestyle changes are sustainable in the context of a busy, economically-challenged and stressed-out life.
MEE’s national research projects, including:
MEE’s first national report, The MEE Report: Reaching the Hip-Hop Generation (published in 1992),
This Is My Reality-The Price of Sex: An Inside Look at Black Urban Youth Sexuality and the Role of the Media (2004),
Moving Beyond Survival Mode: Promoting Mental Wellness and Resiliency as a Way to Cope with Urban Trauma (2009),
Most recently, The Inner City Truth 3 Survey (2013).
Mr. Juzang’s expertise as a media producer is exemplified in MEE’s award-winning media productions, including Check Yourself HIV Ads, and In Search of Love: Dating Violence Among Urban Youth.
He is a board member of Power to Decide (formerly the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy).
Ivan has also served on the boards of the Nurse Family Partnership and The Alan Guttmacher (good – mocker) Institute.
Mr. Juzang was also an instructor at Temple University’s School of Communications, Department of Broadcasting Telecommunications and Mass Media.
Mr. Juzang received his BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University, and his MBA from The Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania.
Listen to the Podcast Episode
Mr. Juzang's Public Health Career Advice & Tips
Engage the target audience and the community on its terms, not yours.
Be challenged by community members who attend your events or activities by making time to listen when people need to vent about past disappointments, current perceived slights and undelivered promises
Tell the truth, even when it feels uncomfortable or paints you or your organization in a less-than flattering light.
Acknowledge imperfections and admit the reality of institutional trauma.
Make changes within your organization based on feedback from the people you serve.
Become an ongoing community presence that people can depend on. This means making a real commitment to being there and making positive change.
The final piece of advice from Mr. Juzang was centered around redefining what you consider to be success. Do not base success on just monetary achievement, but to place significant value on the social impact your work can provide and how society can profit.
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