Q&A: Celebrating Black Voices in Public Health

This year’s U.S. Black History Month theme is “Black Health and Wellness” and celebrates the contributions of Black scholars, medical practitioners and public health practitioners. Task Force staff share their reflections on this topic, the intersections of Black history and health equity, their heroes and sheroes, and advice for aspiring Black public health professionals.

U.S. Black History Month, held annually in the month of February, commemorates the accomplishments of Black Americans and their critical role in shaping U.S. history.

In 1926 noted historian and “father of Black History” Carter G. Woodson was on a mission to celebrate and bring awareness to the contributions and sacrifices of Black Americans which were often neglected. Woodson and other prominent African Americans are the architects behind what we know today as Black History Month.

The Task Force’s Council for Opportunity, Diversity, and Equity (CODE) last year organized an event as part of our Faces of Global Health panel series called “Let’s Talk About Being Black in Public Health” to amplify the voices of Black public health professionals.We build on that this year as Task Force colleagues reflect on Black History Month, their work, their inspiration, and their visions for a more equitable future.

What does Black History Month mean to you?
As a Black public health practitioner, why do you think it is important to have racial representation in the public health and other health fields?
With the theme of Black History Month being “Black Health and Wellness,” what are some of you reflections on health disparities faced by racial minorities?
Tell us about the Black public health heroes and sheroes that inspire you.
Do you have any advice for rising Black public health professionals?

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