Shifting the Narrative: Introducing the #HealthistheNewBlack Campaign

Shifting the Narrative: Introducing the #HealthistheNewBlack Campaign
December 4, 2014 webadmin

What does it mean to be healthy? How do we take care of our health, and how do we contribute to the health of our communities?

The #HealthistheNewBlack Campaign, a partnership between the Bay Area United Black Fund, Story For All, and Kaiser, uplifts the voices and images of a diverse range of people in the Bay Area black community. The campaign seeks to shift the narrative on Black health through harnessing the power of narrative, a new strategic direction for BABUF as they support their community members and stakeholders in shifting their perception and behavior around personal and community health.

In this initial phase of the campaign, Story For all is training a group of BABUF Community members in oral history methodology and supporting them in conducting interviews with their peers and other stakeholders to explore what it means to be black and healthy in the Bay Area. This phase of the campaign will culminate with a positive editorial and pictorial campaign that reflects the needs, wisdom and personalities of the community it serves.

The #HealthistheNewBlack Campaign centers personal health and well-being as fundamental to building and sustaining healthy communities, highlighting the ways community members think and act regarding matters of health.

In our team sessions, we have delved into personal stories and beliefs surrounding health. In discussing what it means to be Black and healthy, community members acknowledge an entrenched history of Black people in this country often putting their well-being and spirits on the back burner to navigate the unforgiving terrains of racism and exploitation.

Many frank discussions have taken place during community team sessions. Looking squarely at the collective trauma of enslavement and its enduring legacy, we must ask many tough questions, including, “Do you want to be well?” In this question many of us have found our power and creativity. These discussions have elicited a need for definitions that encompass our entire beings when discussing health. For instance, seeking a meaningful life purpose and having a spiritual core are great examples of how some of our members seek health and wholeness. Candice Francis, one of our team members, spoke of our duty to continue dreaming and striving to be our best. She emphasized that doing so is good for our own well-being as well as for future generations. Candice asked:

“How are you teaching your children to think about themselves? Plant seeds of love and encouragement.”

Over the coming months, blogs and interview clips will be posted on the BABUF and Story For All websites.

For more information about BABUF and this campaign click here.

Stay tuned for more stories!