Proud Placemaker: Jason Avery, Woodlawn

Hi Jason! So where is it that you call home?

I am a 9 ½ year resident of Woodlawn, I am adjacent to the 55th Arts District.

We’re based out of Social Venture right on First Avenue South, so you’re just right around the corner from us! Have you always lived in Woodlawn?

I am not a native.  I am originally from Philadelphia, PA , but lived a lot of places along the way. I came to Birmingham
in
1993 to attend graduate school at the UAB School of Public Health after finishing my undergrad at Auburn.

Well we are very happy you chose to stick around the area. Not too many people think of Woodlawn when they think of city-center living though.  What was it about this neighborhood that made it the perfect home for you?

During my marriage I lived in Crestwood North. After my divorce, I wanted to live somewhere close, but at the same time I felt free to be adventurous with my new housing choice. Always a lover of transitional areas, I found the location and architecture of Woodlawn to suit me perfectly. Finding my craftsman cottage, which needed lots of TLC, gave me the opportunity to restore a great old house and rebuild my life at the same time.

It’s always so great to hear about people like you helping restore this great neighborhood back to its vibrancy. What would you say is the top benefit of living in Woodlawn?

Location has to be number one. I am literally 10 minutes away from everything. Diversity is also high on my list. I love the cornucopia of people who exist in the city. It creates a very progressive atmosphere which is unmatched anywhere in this state.

Yes! We can’t help but smile and agree when hearing that kind of answer. It’s not just the home and location, but it’s the people you’re surrounded by as well. So as we mentioned earlier, a lot of people glance over Woodlawn when looking for a home in Birmingham. What would you say to these hesitators and naysayers?

First I would tell them to forget everything they have heard! So much has changed in the 20 years that I have lived here. I would say if you want a place that is urban, but not a jungle…come to Birmingham. If you want a city which is finding a way to move forward despite a checkered past…come to Birmingham. And if want a great house that won’t break the bank close to everything …come to Woodlawn!

Perfectly stated, Jason! We really appreciate your answers today. Is there anything you’d like to leave us with? Any fun facts or interesting tidbits about yourself?

I am an inventor! I developed a school-based intervention to prevent the early onset of sexual activity in inner city school students while I was in graduate school. Three years ago I was given intellectual property for the intervention. The intervention was accepted by CDC and 18 years later is being disseminated all over the United States, Cuba, Jamaica, South Africa and South America. I use this as an example to stress to my 13 –year-old twin boys and my 10 year old daughter to always strive hard. Those activities that they doing today can pay off in the future!

As well as being a top notch innovator and excellent Woodlawn Resident, Jason also works at the Statistical and Data Management Center for the CREST Trial at the UAB School of Publich Health-a randomized clinical trial examining the efficacy of two procedures used to prevent strokes. 

 

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