2015 | 2014 | 2013 |
The Southeastern Health Equity Council (SHEC) is one of ten regional health equity councils in the U.S. formed by the NPA in 2011. Its mission is to inform policy, change systems and increase awareness for health equity, with a vision to coordinate efforts in Region IV to achieve health equity through policy changes, effective programs and greater awareness. Recently, the SHEC has partnered with UpLift Solutions to bring attention to the lack of healthy food access in the Southeastern United States and to assist UpLift Solutions in launching a $50 million Fresh Food Financing Fund. UpLift Solutions is a national nonprofit organization that supports efforts to create sustainable food environments in underserved communities. The SHEC/UpLift Solutions partnership is intended to eliminate some of the 1,441 areas that have been designated as food deserts in the Southeast region of the country.
A rich and storied history connects health and people of color in America. The architects of our nation’s civil rights and health equity movements led
major change in addressing the disparities that prevented minority populations from enjoying the same health status as other Americans. During National Minority Health Month 2016 in April, we recognize the valiant efforts of our country’s health
equity champions who ensure that everyone has an equal chance at a healthier life.
On April 5, 2016, during National Minority Health Month, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Health Equity Council (RHEC) will launch the first national Health Equity Day —an inclusive initiative recognizing and reflecting on the need to achieve health equity in the United States. Health Equity Day is one of the responses that those of us on the Mid-Atlantic RHEC initiated as a result of the revealing findings contained in the council’s Regional Blueprint for Action .
The National Black Women’s HIV/AIDS Network (NBWHAN) was developed in 2006 in response to the alarming disparity in HIV infection rates between black and white women, and the lack of policies to address the disparity. At the time, women constituted 28 percent of HIV/AIDS cases in the United States, with approximately 69 percent being non-Hispanic black women (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2003). The NBWHAN is a coalition of HIV positive and negative black women and girls that came together to provide a voice and representation for black women with HIV/AIDS. One of our main focus areas is calling for interventions that take into consideration the context of black women’s lives, as well as providing recommendations to health officials and leadership in local, state and federal government to address this public health crisis.
The mission of the Jennings School District (JSD), which I oversee as Superintendent, is to ensure that each student develops a passion for learning through challenging curricula; rigorous academic standards; innovative, stimulating educational environments; and a passion that education is a life-long pursuit. I consider that to be a standard for any school district. Some people may consider that standard to be particularly challenging for Jennings, a predominantly African American school district bordering Ferguson, MO, with nearly 3,000 students—97 percent of whom qualify for free or reduced-priced lunches. When I came here in 2012, JSD was academically one of the lowest performing districts in the state, was flirting with becoming unaccredited and had lacked full state accreditation for two decades.