Black History Month: Charities from 2/2 – 2/6

Black History Month 2017As discussed before, I’m posting about the work of the charities I am targeting for this year’s Black History Month. It’s all amazing work and I encourage people to go to the sites I am linking and read about the projects and programs for each charity, in their own words.

2/2: You should know Black Girls Code – if you don’t, why don’t you?? – as the terrific org that encourages young women of color into STEM careers. I’ve been following them on Facebook for a while. They support hackathons, training, classes, all sorts of awesome things…. and recently partnered with 20th Century Fox to provide free screenings of “Hidden Figures” in their 11 chapter cities.  Seriously, this is a great organization. Follow them! Go! Now!

2/3: The Black Women’s Health Imperative is a national charity focusing on the overall health – physical, mental, emotional and financial – of black women. In November they released Indexus, a report that is the “first comparative index of Black women’s health based on healthy Black women,” aggregating 20 years of research. The report at that link is free, and it’s pretty damn cool. They have a ton of other initiatives, but this is the first report I’ve read that focuses on a specific positive angle – what black women view as health for them, and what supports them staying healthy according to that view.

2/4: The National Congress of Black Women is an organization dedicated to making black women’s voices heard in our nation’s capitol. Their causes are very diverse, from human trafficking to supporting justice for American Indians to scholarships for black women to creating a culture supporting those with disabilities. They were founded by a large group of amazing black women who were in positions of public service, all of whom deserve a blog post all their own. Their founding chairs are Representative (and presidential candidate) Shirley Chisholm and the Honorable C. DeLores Tucker, Secretary of State for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. They’ve been a little quiet on Facebook since the middle of last year (I’m not surprised), but I’m looking forward to the results of their conference this coming September.

2/5: The National Black Women’s Justice Institute is devoted to helping black women and girls who have interacted with America’s justice system, with a specific focus on California.   Their mission is “focused on the reduction of racial and gender disparities in the justice systems affecting Black women, girls, and their families.” Their initiatives span from research into how existing policies in schools affect young black women to finding employment for previously-incarcerated women. They’ve got a fascinating pilot educational reentry project underway in the Bay Area, and their working paper about that project is free and downloadable from the front page of their site (and in the resources tab there are a ton of other excellent educational materials and articles).

2/6: Did you know that black women are 10% less likely to get breast cancer than white women, but their survival rate is more than 10% less? I didn’t until I read all about Sisters Network. They are a breast cancer survivorship organization for black women and they’re based right here in Houston. They provide mammograms, help black women who are having problems affording breast cancer treatment, and teach teens about the importance of breast health. They have a breast cancer conference that they are taking on tour! They’re starting in Houston and going to Baton Rouge, Memphis, Austin, Greensboro NC, Chicago, Portland (OR), Tampa Bay, Bergen County NJ and Hampton Roads, VA. And they’re organizing their 8th annual 5k Walk in April. You can follow them on Facebook to check out their past events and keep tabs on their amazing work.