Racial disparities in health outcomes and mortality rates are longstanding, structural, institutionalised and well-documented in the UK and US (see recommended reading below). Like education, health is a political issue requiring collaborative community solutions, in addition to collective activism.
Our Health, Wellbeing & Happiness event has been developed to champion *Black Women’s Health, bringing together an international collective of academics and practitioners to provide sisterhood, support, guidance and a dedicated space to reflect, share and develop ways to move beyond surviving to thriving and nurturing healthy minds and bodies.
At the first annual event being held at UEL Stratford, the focus is on the UK and US and features three of the Ivory Tower contributors to the edited volume on race and gender inequality in academia: Dr Jenny Douglas, Dr Elizabeth Opara and Dr Marcia Wilson, alongside Dr Deborah Gabriel, creator of the Ivory Tower project and co-editor of the first book in the series. Commenting on the upcoming event, Dr Gabriel said:
“Health is as much a political issue as the racial inequalities within higher education where self-help is necessary. Our Health, Wellbeing & Happiness strategy is very much a derivative of the Ivory Tower project as a way of repairing our minds and bodies from the mental and physical onslaught of hegemonic whiteness, race and gender inequality and discrimination.”
Dr Jenny Douglas, is Founder and Chair of the Black Women’s Health & Wellbeing Research Network and a Senior Lecturer in Health Promotion at the Open University. At the event she will be sharing updates from her recent visits to the US. Commenting on the upcoming event, Dr Douglas said:
“In the words of Audre Lorde: ‘Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.’”