“Racism is a public health crisis,” said Michelle Williams, dean of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. There is racial inequality in terms of health coverage, chronic health conditions, mental health, and mortality in the US. Many Black celebrities, like Beyoncé, Michelle Obama and Serena Williams have spoken out about Black health and what we can do to improve it. Numerous charities and organizations are making a point to target and resolve disparities in healthcare, instead of letting these serious disparities affect the Black community negatively. Read on to learn about a few of the forward-thinking charities looking to improve healthcare amongst the African American community.
Therapy for Black Girls
Therapy for Black Girls is an online space that promotes mental wellness in both Black women and girls. The site aims to present mental health issues in a digestible and accessible way while attempting to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health in the Black community. This initiative was started by Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, a licensed psychologist, speaker and podcast host. The site has a host of free blog posts and podcasts, as well as a resource that allows users to find a therapist in their area. The site also has a paid online community, where users can deep dive into mental health topics, attend members-only events and connect with members in their area, all while feeling the support of other community members. Learn more about Therapy for Black Girls here.
Black AIDS Institute
Black AIDS Institute was founded with the mission of ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Black community. Its founders aim to oppose systems that actively marginalize Black health, all while addressing the unique needs of Black people. According to the institute, many community workers responsible for supporting those most at risk for HIV often do not have basic knowledge about the disease. Their program called the African American Hiv University aims to resolve this. It is a comprehensive training initiative that aims to educate, destigmatize HIV/AIDS and strengthen the HIV workforce in Black communities at a national level. They also run a Covid Vaccination Education program that aims to educate Black people on their vaccination options and allow them to make informed decisions regarding coronavirus vaccination. Learn more about Black AIDS Institute here.
Black Women’s Health Imperative
The Black Women’s Health Imperative is the first nonprofit organization created by Black women to promote equity in healthcare and wellness for Black women and girls. One of their many programs – Change Your Lifestyle, Change Your Life – aims to help Black women and men prevent type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and cholesterol. The program helps participants improve their diet and exercise habits through a personal Lifestyle Coach, an app and a community of other participants. Learn more about Black Women’s Health Imperative here.
The Okra Project
The Okra Project aims to address the global crisis Black trans people are facing by bringing them home-cooked, healthy, and culturally specific meals and resources. The name is inspired by the okra vegetable; it is often associated with health, prosperity and community and is favored in Black communities for its versatility. They also created mental health recovery funds to connect Black trans people with licensed Black therapists. Learn more about The Okra Project here.