Today marks the beginning of Black History Month.
Both the BC Women’s Health Foundation (BCWHF) and Women’s Health Research Institute (WHRI) would like to collectively honour this month by highlighting the contributions of Black women to health and healthcare.
Black History Month is very much about joy, resilience, and engagement. Since the mid-19th century, Black communities have been living in British Columbia and have made significant contributions to economic and cultural development. This month is also about redefining the future, together. To do this, we must begin by acknowledging the harms experienced by Black women through the racist, unethical, non-consensual acts of those within research, academia, and healthcare. These acts, along with the failure to prioritize the health of Black women – have perpetuated racism and ongoing trauma, resulting in evidence and healthcare gaps for Black women in Canada. We would also like to acknowledge that Black women are not a homogenous group and are not defined by this history.
The WHRI’s mission: To create new evidence-based solutions that inform and transform the health and healthcare of all women is grounded in its values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Similarly, BCWHF centers its philanthropic work in the values of collaboration, integrity, and inclusivity.
Our organizations are working toward improving Black women’s healthcare by encouraging, supporting, and amplifying ethical, equitable, and ground-breaking research.
Dr. Gina Ogilvie’s research in vaccine uptake in Vancouver’s Black community, led by the Hogan’s Alley Society and the BC Immunization Committee – is one example of critical work being done at the WHRI.
But, we want to do more.
As our first year formally recognizing Black History Month, we will be taking this time to listen, (un)learn, and amplify.
- Listening: to communities about the research gaps in Black women’s health
- (Un)learning: by participating in anti-racism educational opportunities
- Amplifying: the people and organizations dedicated to anti-racism work (*watch our social media for more)
Additionally, we aim to form meaningful relationships to make meaningful change.
We commit to doing better, with intention, starting today.