The ABC has a strong focus on health and well-being. Whole-person health includes healthy eating, exercise, education, physical and behavioral health care access, and spiritual and community well-being. In May and June 2023, ABC’s health committee has been busy helping to secure funding for the Equity Center and for health programming that will happen there. The priorities are to build from the needs identified in the 2021 Black Alaskans Health Status Report and Needs Assessment, developed in partnership with the community and UAA School of Social Work. We identified three objectives to focus on at the Equity Center:
- To foster a sense of belonging, celebrate culture, and build mutual support among the Black and BIPOC community and allies.
- To provide health education and literacy programs to address chronic health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. This includes Healthy U events on chronic disease prevention, management, and treatment within a culturally affirming framework, in partnership with the American Diabetes Association and Project Power.
- To engage Black youth through positive youth development programming that provides opportunities through Black Youth Connect to create and discuss health-affirming practices to lead healthy lives and prevent and address physical and mental health challenges.
While we learned we were not funded for the NIH opportunity, we have submitted multiple other funding requests to support this programming and staff.
We also have been busy helping to host a wildly successful health fair at the Juneteenth celebrations in Anchorage and for the Chamber of Commerce Make it Monday event that sold out the largest conference room in the Dena’ina Center. It was an incredible event where Celeste was surprised by an incredibly well-deserved proclamation from the Alaska Legislature recognizing her leadership.
We have helped update the ABC website to better feature health information. July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month!
National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month is observed each July to bring awareness to the unique struggles that racial and ethnic minority communities face regarding mental illness. We encourage you to learn more about mental health and resources available in our community. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, let them know that HELP IS AVAILABLE.
For mental health services in Alaska, visit: https://health.alaska.gov/dbh/pages/default.aspx.
Learn more about the National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month at https://www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov/minority-mental-health/?utm_campaign=health_equity_link&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery.
We are looking forward to helping host a community conversation in August to help promote September, which is Suicide Prevention Month. For more information, see https://988lifeline.org/promote-national-suicide-prevention-month/.
Please join us; we meet every three weeks on Tuesday evenings at 7 pm via Zoom. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to our invites.