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Focus Area of Interest


Empowering African American Women to Live Healthier Lives
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Focus Area of Interest
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Be Part of the Movement

The Black Women’s Health Movement is designed to engage and empower African American women across the socioeconomic spectrum of our community to live healthier lives — body and mind.

Improve the physical health and mental wellness of black women in Greater Cincinnati — starting with you, your family, your neighborhood and our city .

Rosa Parks (1913-2005): Known as "the first lady of civil rights" and "the mother of the freedom movement"

Patricia Bath (1942-2019): First African American to complete an ophthalmology residency; first African American female doctor to receive a medical patent

Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955): Known as "The First Lady of The Struggle;" advisor to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt; educator, author, civil rights leader

It's very important for women to practice self-care and not forget about themselves when trying to be so strong.

Our Work
So Far

Led by Health Gap President and CEO Renee Mahaffey Harris, we have a team of dedicated committee members who are passionate about our movement. With their help, we’ve conducted national literature reviews, interviewed and surveyed more than 110 women across 27 Cincinnati neighborhoods to understand the following:

  • Health issues and initiatives for women in general and black women specifically
  • Prevalent health diseases within the African American community
  • Socioeconomic impacts on health in general and among African American families
  • African American habits and practices relating to health and wellness
  • Mental health issues and initiatives among women, black women and families

From these efforts, we know women face a multitude of obstacles and life stressors that affect their health. This initiative will help engage, empower and advocate for women to make meaningful change. Together.

Bessie Coleman (1892-1926): First U.S. African American woman to earn a pilot’s license

A positive culture is defined by how you live your life every day.

Key Findings

Qualitative Research

We are working to address the institutional and socioeconomic factors that lead to health disparities among black women. Education and empowerment are key to taking an active role in managing our health. With constituents, strategic partners and stakeholders, we are exploring how to build a culture of health among black women in Greater Cincinnati.

Black women are frequently taking care of everyone's health but our own.

There is not just one answer to creating a culture of health for black woman.

Obesity and poor eating habits are killing our people.

We tend to want to do better, but we don't know how.