Social Current Recognizes Black History Month 2022
Social Current recognizes Black History Month as a time to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements, accomplishments, and contributions from the many African Americans today and in the past. Our history has been enriched by these heroes, who have given so much and, in some cases, sacrificed their lives, for the same reasons that we commit to advancing justice, equity, and freedom. We also want to acknowledge the injustices and racism in this present time. As leaders, we will stay committed to the efforts that will eventually result in an equitable society for all people. This month, and every day, it is important to recognize the many contributions that have led to what we define as freedom.
—Jody Levison-Johnson, president and CEO, Social Current
A Focus on Health and Wellness
The theme for Black History Month 2022 is centered on the importance of Black Health and Wellness. Part of this focus acknowledges the legacy of Black scholars and medical practitioners in Western medicine, as well as other ways of knowing (e.g., birthworkers, doulas, midwives, naturopaths, herbalists, etc.) throughout the African Diaspora. This year’s theme also stresses the continuing impact of disparities in the social determinants of health for BIPOC individuals and their communities.
In the still overhanging shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, Black people should and do use data and other information-sharing modalities to document, decry, and agitate against the interconnected, intersecting inequalities intentionally baked into systems and structures in the U.S. for no other reason than to curtail, circumscribe, and destroy Black well-being in all forms and Black lives. Moreover, Black communities must look to the past to provide the light for our future, by embracing the rituals, traditions and healing modalities of our ancestors. These ways of knowing require a decolonization of thought and practice.Association for the Study of African American Life and History
As part of Social Current’s commitment to a healthy and equitable society, we and our partners in the social sector work to bridge historical barriers and persistent challenges with contemporary solutions and best practices to end racism, inequity, and poverty. This commitment recognizes BIPOC families as the experts in what is important to realizing their full potential, as well as the importance of cross-sector approaches to advancing equity, partnering with purpose, and building on successes in improving the social determinants of health.
Pathways for Change
Social Current collaborates with the Morehouse School of Medicine and other social sector organizations in mobilizing community-based organizations through the National COVID-19 Resiliency Network (NCRN). This initiative is focused on mitigating the negative impact of COVID-19 on racial and ethnic minority and American Indian and Alaska Native communities that are disproportionately impacted through disseminating culturally and linguistically relevant resources to the hardest hit communities.
We are also collaborating with Unite Us, the nation’s leading technology company connecting health and social care services, to advance health equity and improve health and social outcomes through innovation and technology. This relationship will enable Social Current and Unite Us to work together to make positive change in communities across the country.
The foundation of these partnerships and other health equity initiatives is the shared understanding that families caught in entrenched poverty caused by institutional racism can benefit from multigenerational approaches to family and community success, along with collective action to gain access to the resources and supports necessary for well-being. These evidence-based approaches are evident in:
- Collective goals for child well-being
- Asset-based community development
- Food- and wellness-based systems change
- Neighborhood-created resource development
- Resident-led community stabilization and growth
- Racial lens for effective school-based interventions
- Racial healing of generational harm
Building on Strengths: Learning and Engagement Opportunities
Raising up Black children, mothers, fathers, and their family members advances society as a whole. Throughout the month, Social Current will highlight Black voices and stories, focus on strengths-based and collaborative socioeconomic mobility solutions, share emerging research and best practices, and extend opportunities for learning and action.
Here are some ways to join our work on equity, diversity, and inclusion today:
- Participate in workshops, learning collaboratives, and consulting services
- Connect with peers and industry experts with SPARK Exchanges (formerly APEX Groups) (Sign up now for the Feb. 8 orientation webinar)
- Enroll in courses focused on building community health and well-being
- Subscribe to policy and advocacy updates
- Sign up for the National COVID-19 Resiliency Network’s pandemic response updates
- Browse the Knowledge and Insights Center (formerly Alliance Library) for Black health and wellness research and resources (Social Current network exclusive) – each week will feature a specific topic:
- Week 1: Highlighting the innovation and progress of Black scholars, medical practitioners, birthworkers, doulas, midwives, and others
- Week 2: Initiatives to help decrease health disparities
- Week 3: Preventive care and focus on body positivity, physical exercise, nutrition, etc.
- Week 4: Emotional and mental health advances in research and best practices