Credit: Photo by Andrea Piacquadio:

The Black Women’s Health Imperative (BWHI) released its latest impact report, which details the initiatives, policy priorities, and signature programs the organization has championed on behalf of the nation’s 21 million Black women and girls.

“Since I joined BWHI nearly a decade ago, we have evolved into a $20 million organization that combines science, advocacy, and action to eliminate barriers to wellness for Black women,” said Linda Goler Blount, president and CEO of the Black Women’s Health Imperative. “It is unfathomable to consider what we would have lost as a society and community without the work of BWHI over the past nearly 40 years.”

The report, released during Mental Health Awareness Month, sheds light on the ways the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Black women’s mental health and highlights the Black Women’s Health Imperative’s work to help Black women combat the impact of chronic stress.

The report also introduces the Black Women’s Health Imperative’s Fair Work Initiative, which aims to combat workplace racial and gender discrimination. The four-part, science-based initiative equips companies with resources and strategies to create safer workplace environments where Black women can thrive.

“Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, escalating social unrest, and the threat of Roe v. Wade being overturned, Black women workers are facing unparalleled levels of stress,” said Dr. Angelica Geter, leader of the Fair Work Initiative. “The racism Black women experience in the workplace only adds to their chronic stress, putting them at greater risk of developing serious illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease.”

The impact report also highlights the successes of BWHI’s Rare Disease Diversity Coalition (RDDC), which addresses the challenges faced by rare disease patients of color. Tammy Boyd, Chief Policy Officer and Counsel for the Black Women’s Health Imperative, is transitioning to run the RDDC full-time as executive director, using her years of policy expertise to advocate for people of color with rare diseases.

“As our community faces new barriers to reproductive justice and achieving well-being, our mission has never been more critical,” said Blount. “Thanks to our donors, supporters, advocacy partners, and, of course, the unmatched passion of Black women themselves, we will continue to advocate in the halls of Congress, use evidence-based strategies, and invest in bold programs to improve the health of Black women.”

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