For Black History Month, the Social Current Knowledge and Insights Center is highlighting resources related to Black Health and Wellness, which is this year’s theme chosen by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. The Center has examined resources on initiatives focused on reducing health disparities; increasing preventive care and body positivity; and fostering emotional and mental health.

Below are examples of how Black doctors and nurses are focusing on strengthening well-being and opportunities for Black families through representation and community conversations. In addition, learn about the organizations working on the front lines to provide resources, treatment, and other supports to support the BIPOC community in reducing health disparities and building capacity for conditions that sustain positive social determinants of health.

Health Equity and Shared Accountability

Strategic partnerships and other health equity initiatives are most effective when there is a 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. For example, Social Current is part of a national collaborative with the National COVID-19 Resiliency Network focused on mitigating the negative impact of COVID-19 on racial and ethnic minority and American Indian and Alaska Native communities. We are also partnering with Unite Us to advance health equity and improve health and social outcomes through innovation and technology. These relationships will add necessary investment and accountability with communities and support the leadership of Black and Brown health care professionals in health systems across the country.

Health Representation and Community Leadership

The following examples show how Black doctors and nurses are focusing on strengthening well-being and opportunities for Black families.

The Struggle and Triumph of America’s First Black Doctors
African American physicians have dealt with distrust and misperceptions for more than a century. Their story has been one of both incredible achievement and deep-seated discrimination.

The Creator of a Viral Black Fetus Medical Illustration Blends Art and Activism
Chidiebere Ibe says his work is not just about the lack of representation in medical illustrations. It’s also about the beauty of African culture.

How to Get Up to 3,000 More Black People in Physician Pipeline
Physician leaders argue the time is now for bold thinking to dramatically increase the number of Black students who enter physician training.

Black Nurses Matter: On the Frontlines
The Black Nurses Matter (BNM) network emerged to empower and amplify the voices of Black nurses and organize and mobilize the nursing community to be active in the pursuit of racial and social justice.

Between Us, About Us: A New Campaign By Black Health Care Workers for Black People
Black doctors, nurses, and researchers dispel misinformation and provide accessible facts in 50 FAQ videos that deliver the COVID-19 vaccines information Black people are asking for.

Reducing Health Disparities On the Front Line

These are examples of organizations that are providing resources, treatment, and other supports to help the Black community with health disparities.

We Need More Black Doctors: These Organizations Can Help
To combat the effects of racism and lack of Black representation in the medical field, these organizations are advocating for BIPOC students and doctors with the goal of breaking barriers and diversifying the health care industry.

The Center for African American Health
The Center is committed to improving the health and well-being of the African American community by offering community-based, evidenced-based, disease prevention and disease management programs, events, and services.

The Center for Black Health & Equity
The Center for Black Health & Equity is committed to the pursuit of health justice for people of African descent, particularly to address prevention and treatment of cancer, tobacco-related disease, and HIV/AIDS.

Innovating Doula Program to Address Racial Health Disparities
Doulas play a crucial role in combating the discrimination, racism, and loss of autonomy that Black and Brown birthing people experience due to historical disinvestment. This program develops referral pathways with healthcare systems and federally qualified health centers to facilitate care.

Milwaukee Health Services
This center has served low-income populations since 1989 and is committed to removing barriers and improving health outcomes that promote quality of life and reduce disparities among racial and ethnic communities.

California Black Health Network
CBHN conducts outreach, education, and advocacy to achieve health equity for Black Californians through the lens of understanding critical issues that lie at the intersection of racial justice, social justice, and environmental justice.

Building on Strengths

Raising up Black children, mothers, fathers, and their family members advance society as a whole. Throughout the month, Social Current is highlighting Black voices and stories, focusing on strengths-based and collaborative socioeconomic mobility solutions, sharing emerging research and best practices, and extending opportunities for learning and action.

Here are some ways to join our work on equity, diversity, and inclusion today:

  1. Participate in workshops, learning collaboratives, and consulting services
  2. Connect with peers and industry experts with SPARK Exchanges (formerly APEX Groups) (Sign up now for the Feb. 8 orientation webinar)
  3. Enroll in courses focused on building community health and well-being
  4. Subscribe to policy and advocacy updates
  5. Sign up for the National COVID-19 Resiliency Network’s pandemic response updates
  6. Browse the Knowledge and Insights Center (formerly Alliance Library) for Black health and wellness research and resources (Social Current network exclusive)

The Social Current Knowledge and Insights Center, our comprehensive online resource library, is currently running trials around two equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) related databases, and our library team is looking for your feedback. Once you enter the databases we want to know, is the content you’re finding in each database useful? What do you like/dislike about the content interface? Did you find what you were looking for? What’s missing?

Reach out to the library team with your thoughts on the two databases by Jan. 31.

About the Databases

The first database is the Ethnic Diversity Source and covers the culture, traditions, social treatment, and lived experiences of different ethnic groups in America. It provides full texts from a growing list of sources including peer-reviewed journals, magazines, e-books, biographies, and primary source documents. Recent titles include:

  • Immigrant Generation, Race, and Socioeconomic Outcomes of Mothers in Urban Cities: Who Fares Better?
  • Eroding White Supremacy: A Curricular and Humanist Approach to Bridging the Racial Reality Gap
  • “Leaving the World Better Than We Saw It:” Imperatives for General and Special Educators

The second database is the eBook Subscription Diversity & Ethnic Studies (EBSCOhost), an e-book collection that includes thousands of high-quality e-books assessed by librarians on the topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Example titles include:

  • Eliminating Race-Based Mental Health Disparities: Promoting Equity and Culturally Responsive Care Across Settings
  • Black Fatigue: How Racism Erodes the Mind, Body, and Spirit
  • Bodies and Barriers: Queer Activists on Health

Accessing the Databases

Staff from organizations that have enrolled in Social Current’s engagement packages should log into the Knowledge and Insights Center using their learning community account. Need help creating or accessing an existing account? Contact the learning community team.

Once logged in, you will be taken to the Social Current Library landing page and should follow the instructions below:

  • Click “Access the Library”
  • Scroll down and click “Choose Databases” above the search bar
  • Choose “Ethnic Diversity Source” and “eBook Subscription Diversity & Ethnic Studies (EBSCOhost)” only
  • Enter any search word (For example: Equity)
  • Hit “Search” and begin exploring

Note: The Knowledge and Insights Center is only available to staff enrolled in Social Current’s Engagement Packages. To learn more about our engagement packages, join us on Jan. 21 for our informational webinar.