Inspiring Wellness Through Place-Making

Woodlawn United

February 24, 2022

To close out our focus on Black Health and Wellness this Black History Month, we’re introducing an enthusiastic, passionate place-maker. 

Meet Jason Avery, a dedicated member of the Woodlawn community and Senior Program Director at UAB School of Public Health. 

For almost 19 years, Jason has been active in Woodlawn volunteering as a member of the Woodlawn Neighborhood Association where he currently serves as the Vice President. He is a longtime member of Grace Episcopal Church and proudly serves on the Board of Directors for Woodlawn United, where his passion for public health combines with WU’s mission to create a pathway to prosperity in Woodlawn through community wellness, equitable housing, and cradle-to-career educational opportunities. 

Jason studied Biomedical Sciences at Auburn University and later fell in love with the field of Public Health while continuing his education. Through his career, Jason’s goal is to contribute to the public’s health in a meaningful way. He currently works at the UAB School of Public Health as the Senior Program Director of The Carotid Revascularization Endarterectomy vs Stenting-2 Trial (CREST-2). This trial is an international clinical trial that seeks to determine the best treatment for people who are at risk of stroke but are asymptomatic. His team manages all the data for the trial and serves as a coordination hub for hundreds of sites across the globe.  

While working to impact international public health, Jason is also passionate about improving overall health and quality of life in Woodlawn. One outlet for this passion is serving as an Urban Main facilitator with Rev Birmingham, a non-profit committed to creating and restoring vibrancy to commercial centers of all sizes. With Urban Main, Jason concentrates on place-making. He works to create quality places where people want to live, work, play, and learn. He works on projects ranging from public art, through Magic City Mural Festival, to landscaping and picking up trash.  

Jason says, “I believe people thrive in a clean, vibrant, and safe area. When residents feel better about their environment, they get out more and feel safe to exercise. All of this can lead to healthier outcomes.”  

Jason's next goal is to fully realize and develop his small business, Cottage Noir. Cottage Noir is guided by its motto: Everyday life elevated. It is a lifestyle concept which finds the intersection of design, drink, food, and fashion. Jason has already launched an earring line with a local Woodlawn jewelry maker, hosted countless happy hours, and hosted an Indian food pop-up event. Now he has his sights set on launching a line of unisex union suits.  

As his efforts come to fruition, Jason sees residents and visitors utilizing Woodlawn’s murals like outdoor art galleries, residents engaging in cleanup efforts, people walking and running and all sorts of engagement and activity in the community. These shared public spaces will continue to provide an environment for community development to prosper and Woodlawn to thrive.