Organizations that are led or primarily serve people of color are important to our survival.
Although the bill to repeal Obamacare failed, Trump has vowed to let it fail, forcing Democrats to work with Republicans to finally repeal the Affordable Care Act. His plan to let Obamacare fail will not happen instantly and the burden of this sinister political move will fall on public health organizations serving vulnerable communities. Organizations that are led or primarily serve people of color are important to our survival. Here are just a few of these organizations that you should know about.
SisterLove, Atlanta, GA
SisterLove is one of the foremost HIV/AIDS education and prevention organizations in the United States. Focusing on the needs of Black women and youth, SisterLove also provides self-help and safer sex techniques. SisterLove is innovative in their tactics for meeting community members where they are. In addition to weekly free HIV testing, SisterLove offers Healthy Love Program “house calls” where women are educated about HIV transmission and ways to reduce their risk of contracting STIs/STDS. You can donate to SisterLove or buy merchandise from their store. If you’re in Atlanta, be sure to stop by for free testing and catch them out and about at local events!
Black Women’s Health Imperative, Washington, D.C.
Black Women’s Health Imperative envisions a world where Black women enjoy optimal health and well-being in a socially just society. BWHI is a national organization that connects women to local resources and provides educational material about a variety of health topics, including mental health, diabetes, and heart disease.
BWHI’s My Sister’s Keeper initiative provides young women with the resources and tools elevate the conversation about sexual health and domestic violence, advocate for policies that keep women safe, and mobilize women around reproductive rights. You can bring My Sister’s Keeper to your campus! Be sure to check out their blog and donate to make sure they will be able to continue to serve the nation for a long time.
Black Women for Wellness, Los Angeles, California
Black Women for Wellness aims to expand healthcare access, reduce toxic hair care chemicals that are prevalent in the Black community, and build political advocacy in California and beyond. BWW’s “Are You Ok, Sis?” initiative is a series of mental health workshops focusing on leadership, advocacy, and mental health awareness and education targeting African American and Black women.
BWW also works to increase cancer screenings. In addition to community outreach health programming, BWW sponsors and supports bills that positively impact the reproductive health choices of women and girls. BWW is working to improve Black women’s overall health through different tactics and techniques. You can increase their impact through volunteering and donating.
Inspired by the Civil Rights Movement, GirlTrek is the largest public health nonprofit for Black women and girls in the United States. GirlTrek aims to activate thousands of Black women to be change makers in their lives and communities — through walking. Although GirlTrek focuses on walking, it is not a fitness organization. It is a campaign for healing. Walking with neighbors, coworkers, and friends is a great way to improve health outcomes and socialize. 112,000 women have already taken the GirlTrek pledge. Join and donate today!
The Center for Black Women’s Wellness, Inc., Atlanta, GA
CBWW is working towards eradicating inequities preventing women from being whole, healed and well. Their focus on overall wellness, maternal and child health, and adolescent health ensures that Black women and their children receive the proper care and resources. CBWW’s Wellness Clinic provides gynecological services on a sliding scale while accepting Medicaid. The Safety Net Clinic provides no cost services for uninsured women and men ages 18 & older.
Additionally, CBWW provides community prevention programs for people who want to learn about breast health, cervical health, and cardiovascular disease and stroke prevention and education. Be sure to donate and schedule an appointment if you’re near by!
Planned Parenthood, Various
Planned Parenthood is one of the nation’s leading providers of high-quality, affordable health care, and the nation’s largest provider of sex education. Because it provides abortion services, Planned Parenthood is constantly under attack by Republicans and the “pro-life community,” so this organization needs support more than ever. PP also provides general health services, preventative health services, and educational resources for teens, parents, and educators. PP’s website is great resource to learn about birth control, abortion, STDs, and emergency contraception. In select states, birth control, UTI treatment, and STD testing is available online.
Feminist Women’s Health Center, Atlanta, GA
The Feminist Women’s Health Center provides outstanding, sensitive, and supportive reproductive health care services and empowers the community through educational initiatives while advocating for reproductive justice and reproductive rights. FWHC’s medical services include abortion care, comprehensive gynecological and wellness, and trans health.
Community education initiatives include the Black Women’s Wellness Project and the Lifting Latina Voices Initiative, both have regular events where community members can learn, teach, and just kick it. FWHC also advocates for reproductive rights and reproductive justice at the local and state level. No matter what skill set you have, there is a place for you to volunteer at FWHC. You’ll love the friendly staff and enthusiastic volunteers! If you’re not in the area, be sure to donate and spread the word about the amazing work that is happening at the Feminist Women’s Health Center.
Do you know of any public health organizations led and/or served by people of color we didn’t list? Please tell us about their work and link to their website in the comments!
(Photo: Vermont Workers’ Center)