Since, 1999 The Feminist Women’s Health Center has developed and implemented programs and services geared to improve the wellbeing of Black Women. Research has shown that Black women are more prone to certain diseases and health conditions on account of their race and other disparities.
The Black Women’s Health Forum was developed in effort to bring to light race based health disparities and how women of color are disproportionately affected by health conditions on account of their race, and other factors that contribute to these disparities. According to a 2010 Amnesty International report, maternal mortality among African American women is four times higher compared to their Caucasian counterparts1. A study conducted by the Guttmacher Institute shows that the rate of unintended pregnancy among women in the U.S in 2006 is almost half (49%) than those that were intended and the rate of unintended pregnancy was higher among Black women as compared to their Latino and Caucasian counterparts2.
Through the Black Women’s Health Forum, we bring together professionals and community members and discuss various health issues from both a professional and community point of view. The purpose of the Black Women’s Health Forum is to hear from professionals and Women of color on the health challenges faced and develop innovative ways to overcome these disparities on the community level as well as from a professional stand point.
The Black Women’s Health Forum, strives to educate, inform and advocate for the health of Black women in our community. This program is run primarily by the Black Women’s Health Intern with the support of Staff, by so doing, we seek to empower black women, develop their leadership skills, in turn they go on to advocate and lead other women in the reproductive health, rights and justice movement.
Major Activities include:
Planning and implementing a panel discussion on a health issue that disproportionately affects Black Women.
Conducting health education workshops to access gaps in health information, increase awareness and educate Black women on reproductive health and access to healthcare services.
Increase involvement of Women of Color in reproductive justice advocacy efforts through the Young Women’s Leadership Program and lobbying efforts.
Develop and maintain partnerships and collaborate with other organizations that serve black women.
“As an organization committed to staying in tune with the changing needs of women, the FWHC has been able to grow along with the population they serve. However, over the years, they’ve never wavered from their goals of providing uncensored health information and the same high quality cutting edge care to women both with and without financial means.”
-- Byllye Avery, Founder, The National Black Women’s Health Project
“Through collaborative efforts locally, regionally and internationally, Feminist Women’s Health Center has contributed to a new generation of human rights activists. Not only have they had a powerful impact on women’s reproductive health but many of their workers have since gone on to make other major social justice contributions. They’re an effective part of a synergistic effort.” -- Loretta Ross Director, Sistersong
1. Amnesty International. (2010) Deadly delivery – The maternal health care crisis in the USA. Retrieved June 18, 2012 from Amnesty USA website: http://www.amnestyusa.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/deadlydelivery.pdf
2. Finer, L.B., & Henshaw, S.K. (2006). Disparities in Rates of Unintended Pregnancy In the United States, 1994 and 2001. Retrieved June 18, 2012 from Guttmacher Institute website: http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/3809006.pdf