California Black Women Health Project

Black women need to be empowered to take responsibility for their health. They need to have a say in policies that directly affect their health status. This is what California Black Women’s Health Project is all about. It inspires black women and encourages them to make a stand in health decisions that affect them.

The organisation was founded in 1994 by Ms Fran Jemott. Black women had been ignored and their health rights denied to them for a long time. There was need for someone to stand up for their rights. Out of this need arose California Black Women’s Health Project. The organisation would be a non-profit organisation whose mission would be to improve the health of black young girls and women living in California through outreach, policy, advocacy and education. The organisation has been entirely committed to emphasizing on policies that help in the improvement and promotion of emotional, spiritual, mental and physical well-being of black women. In a community where racism is common, the organisation believes that a healthy future for black women is achievable if women can be empowered to play key roles in making decisions that affect their health provided equal access and health is a priority.

The goals of this health organisation have been categorised into four groups; these are informative, assistive, and evocative and poll. Under informative, the organisation informs women about disease such as cancer, reproductive issues, and other diseases that affect women. Under assistive, the California black women health project assists other health organisations that target black women with workshops and campaigns. The organisation also takes polls on health problems that black women face, they listen to their takes on issues pertaining to health and how they would like to be helped. The organisation also focuses on advocating for the elimination of discrimination against black women when it comes to health.

I was inspired to look more about this organization because from previous studies, we talked about how racism affect in our society and health. Social racism is a huge contributor on our health. Racism may determine our jobs, thus determine our income status, then environment in which we live in.

The California black women’s health project is working on a project called Advocate Training Programme. This is a nine month course that builds skills in women. It trains them to become leaders when it comes to health activities and in advocating for health policies. The organisation targets girls and women from small communities. This programme focuses mainly on training women who do not believe in advocacy. It trains these women on issues pertaining community organization, media advocating, effectiveness when it comes to legislative issues, letter writing campaigns and how to interact productively in an environment. The program has bearded fruit as it has been able to produce forty-four women advocates, these women would be trained in the advocating of black women’s health issues community organisation and strategy development. This will go a long way in helping black women who have no way of putting forward their opinions in various issues concerning their health.

Some of the programmes that the California Black Women’s Health Project is working on includes; mental health development. This programme acknowledges that black women deal with so many problems in their daily end over. They have to cope with hard economic times; racism and discrimination, violence and sexualism among other problems, Lack of support and physical illnesses are also common challenges that black women have to face. As a result of these terrifying issues, black women developed anxiety, fear and stress. These can have severe reparations such as depression or even physical illnesses. California Black Women’s Health Project assists women in dealing with such issue so as to avoid illnesses that may occur as a result of this. Walking for wellness can be identified as another programme of the California Black Women’s Health Organisation. This programme aimed at increasing levels of participation among girls and women. It aimed at helping women, through the internet and class lessons, learn more on how they can schedule a walking plan and keep fit through wellness students and nutrition. The programme was open to questions on how to work out, and questions on diet asked and correctly answered. Thousands of women benefited from this programme and confessed to having lost weight during this period of participation. The programme, like all others, was a success. Reproductive justice, another programme, aimed at improving the lives of black women by passing policies that benefited black women.

To achieve the set goals and aims of the organisation, tactics have been set up. The California Black Women’s Health Project has set up forums to assist them in their work. These include offering spots for volunteers and donation. The action taken to bring change are educate, informative, assistive, and evocative and poll as explained above. Anyone would be acceptable for volunteer work with this organisation and people are encouraged to join and help fight for black women’s health. There is a forum where donations can be given. These funds go a long way in the continuity of the work done by the organisation.

The work of California Black Women’s Health Project can be termed as of great value to anyone who appreciates the value of every person in this world regardless of gender and race. The organisation aims at elimination of colour discrimination in the health sector. It aims at giving them equal opportunity as it is their constitutional right. This is inspirational to me and to those out there that have a clean and genuine heart like myself. For many years communities have continuously turned their back on black women but California Black Women’s Health project has not and continues to look out for them. It continues to educate them on how to stand up for themselves and their families.

House meeting work plan: Sunday April 1st, 2012

I’m planning to have a conference in my community building at my apartment. I’m inviting all of my friends, family to encourage them to bring anyone because I want all ages, groups learn about my organization and spread the words. I’ll ask anyone who joins to my meeting can bring any black female that will be interested in this program. This meeting includes lunch, small presentation and signup sheet for those who are interested. I’m willing to take any suggestions and comments from the people that attend to improve the program.

Name of Facilitator: California Black Women’s Health (CBWH)

Date: Sunday April 1st Time: 12:00-4:00 pm

Location: My apartment community building (club house)

Times and order of events:

12:00-12:30: Arrival and welcoming them to my conference

12:30-1:30: lunch with a short clip of Black women’s health. Specifically the film, when the bough breaks, after which, the following question will get us started: How would you react if these were happening to your young sister?

1:30-3:00: presentation on and action for change (educate, informative, assistive, and evocative).

3:00-3:30: family and friends suggestion about it

3:30-4:00: Assist in sign-ups

Name of invitee Age Ethnicity Relationship to them
Nina Mohajeri 32 white sister
Lita Pishrow 50 white mother
Sara Javaheri 26 white Co-worker
Maria Fuentes 22 Mexican friend
Yodit Tesfay 22 Black friend
Martha Gebru 19 Black Co-worker

Hi Nasim,

I’m glad to read that you learned a lot about CBWHP that you are passionate about their work. I’m sure this will come through in your meeting and inspire your guests. You needed to provide citation for the information you presented on CBWHP. This has to be included in your Final Paper. Please see my additional comments above.

Creating an agenda was helpful for keeping all of the planned activities on schedule, while ensuring that each topic was covered. Giving the participants a chance to take action taught me how easy it is to get involved in various activities. I was able to access a petition for change in which each of the individuals signed. The most challenging part was thinking of who to call on to attend the meeting. I wanted to pick individuals who were interested in health and would potentially like to take further action. Another challenge I faced was having enough people attend the house meeting during my scheduled time. With school and work schedules being so busy, I had to call on extra people to have enough for the meeting. If I had to carry out another house meeting I would try and get more people involved than the assigned number. I think that being able to share this information with more peers would allow for more action to take place. It would expose people to the struggles individuals are facing and allow for discussions about important health related issues. I think that overall the rest of my house meeting went well and according to plan, which is why inviting more people would be the only thing I would change

Implement the meeting that you planned for your midterm:

1) Show an episode of Unnatural Causes or another film from the course.

2) Facilitate a discussion on the film(s) and the idea that we must improve community conditions to improve community health.

3) Discuss your organization and the work they are doing.

4) Encourage your guests to get involved in a specific action(s) for change to support your organization or a related cause.

Report on the House Meeting:

Write a 3-page report about your house meeting. (Attach your midterm work plan and agenda to the essay; these items do not count as part of the page length.) The report should be a cohesive, academic essay that answers the following questions:

  1. What actually happened at your house meeting compared to the original plan? What went as expected? What did not? How did you handle this? It may help to “walk” briefly through your work plan and show what was the same and what different.

    At the meeting, every participant supported the call for black women to be empowered to take responsibility for their health. As expected, every participant was more than willing to participate both in advocacy and organizing forums. All planned things went as expected; this is based on the reason that the meeting was only informative. Furthermore, everything that was put on the work plan was followed the way it was.

  2. What interesting discussion themes emerged from your house meeting? It may help to think about these questions when writing this section: What did people seem most interested in? What was the focus of the discussion? Were there commonalities amongst participants’ thoughts and idea or were they very different? What stood out to you most about the discussion?

    The theme that was most visited was the sufferings black women undergo in terms of access to health. The theme dominated every participant’s contribution. In the cause of the discussion, however, some members strongly insisted on empowering the women through education first. Nonetheless, I was touched with the willingness by members to help the black young women in need.

  3. What did you learn from researching your organization (make sure to identify this organization. in your paper), from taking action and from holding a house meeting and educating others?

    What I learned from researching on the California black women’s health project was that people are always willing to assist but they need someone to indulge them. This is evidenced from the responses I received even at the house meeting.

  4. How did you encourage your participants to take action? How did you support them in taking action? What have they done or what do they plan to do? What actions have you taken? How will you follow up with your guests regarding any commitment to action they’ve taken?

    First, challenged every participant that the future of young desperate women square rested with us as nobody else had showed signs of assisting them. In addition, I kept joining them during their work processes. This encouragement gave them the spirit and even urgency to take action. In terms of support, I provided them with field assistants who would collect information on their behalf. So far, they have been doing advocacy both in the field and their individual training. At the moment, they are overseeing mental health development amongst the targeted community of black young women in California.

  5. Do you anticipate any further work with this organization? If so, what do you hope to get involved in? If not, what barriers prevent you from working more closely with them?

    Yes, I intent to expand the advocacy work to men leaving in the same area too. This is based on the fact that, some problems that ail these women are not only restricted to health but also their private lives. For instance, a good number bear the burden of unplanned pregnancies which can be minimized if also men are brought on board.

  6. How has your perspective on health changed as a result of taking this class? Refer to specific readings, videos, or ideas.

    Having gone through the work of Bates and Peterkin on health services and domestic violence, and now this class, my perspective on health has not only changed, but also challenged men to always reach out to this people who really need our assistance to stand up on their own.