Life Balance Newsletter, Vol. 4, No. 1

Welcome to the Life Balance Newsletter!

In LBN issues you will find:

  • Organizational updates
  • Practical tips for life/work balance
  • Short articles of interest
  • Volunteer and job opportunities

Do you know someone who would benefit from our newsletter?  Please let her know that she can subscribe at www.lbwi.org.

We are looking for contributors! Are you interested in submitting a brief article?  Send short, 250-300 word submissions to info@lbwi.org for consideration.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS, Vol. 4, No. 1

  1. Letter from the President
  2. Launch of National Listening Session: What’s Really Going On? Honest
  3. Conversations About Black Women’s Health
  4. Save the Date: Annual Conference in Partnership with GISS, November 18, 2017
  5. Call for Volunteers and Supporters
  6. Feature in YES! Magazine
  7. How Far Have We Come?: The Current State of Black Women’s and Girls’ Health

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Letter from the President

Greetings!

We’ve marveled at the eclipse, summer is nearing its end, and at the Life Balance and Wellness Institute we are thrilled about the wonderful things we are planning for the fall and winter.  We are excited to share that we held our Board Retreat in late-June.  Our Board of Directors engaged in strategic planning, event brainstorming, and discussed partnership opportunities.  

We are looking forward to the new partnerships and events with our partners such as the Global Infant Safe Sleep (GISS) Center and the Black Women’s Health Imperative.  Please see the event-related announcements below regarding these new developments.

Should you know an individual, business, or organization that would like to support us in our ongoing and expanded efforts, please share the details with us at info@lbwi.org.

In particular, we are seeking new Board Members and Advisor Board Members.  Do you know someone who believes in and would actively support our mission with their time, talents, and/or other resources?  If so, please send your Board and Advisory Board Member nominations to info@lbwi.org by September 15, 2017.

During this challenging time in our nation, including the ongoing struggles against police violence; the socio-economic and political implications of the current administration; and the overwhelming aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, I challenge us all to make self-care a high priority.  Remind friends and family to take time out to de-stress and refresh.  It is imperative to preserve our lives, our health, and our sanity.
 
Sincerely Yours,

Shanesha R. F. Brooks-Tatum, Ph.D.,
Founder and CEO

 
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Invitation:

Winter Listening Session: “What is Really Going On? Honest Conversations About Black Women’s Health”

In partnership with the Black Women’s Health Imperative (BWHI), the Life Balance and Wellness Institute will co-create a national listening tour, tentatively titled “What’s Really Going On?: Honest Conversations about Black Women’s Health.”

This tour will serve as a venue for sharing the outcomes of the groundbreaking BWHI IndexUs Report along with gathering feedback to shape the further dissemination and use of the report outcomes and other important health and wellness advocacy work for women of African descent.

The launch of this national listening tour will take place in Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday, December 2, 2017.  Would you like to participate? To sign up to receive more information and to indicate your preferences for a meeting time, please fill out this form by September 15, 2017.

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Save the Date! Maternal and Paternal Health Conference in Partnership with the Global Infant Safe Sleep (GISS) CenterNovember 18, 2017
Morehouse School of Medicine

Please join us on Saturday, November 18, 2017 at Morehouse School of Medicine for our 7th Annual Conference in partnership with the Global Infant Safe Sleep (GISS) Center.  This inclusive and community-based conference will focus on maternal andpaternal health and important parent and family health outcomes.
With special guests and informative sessions based on empirical research and community insights, this event is not to be missed!  Flyer and additional information to follow.

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Call for Volunteers and Collaborators!

Are you interested in working with the Life Balance Wellness Institute on increasing the health of Black women and girls? Do you have ideas that contribute to wellness and professional and personal advancement for Black women and girls? If so, we’d love to work with you!

We are currently looking for dedicated collaborators and volunteers in the following areas: outreach, event coordination, board development and more. For more details or to express your interest, please send an email to info@lbwi.org. We look forward to hearing from you!
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If you didn’t catch it on Facebook or Twitter, check out Dr. Shanesha Brooks-Tatum’s Feature in YES! Magazine (May 2017): Resisting White Supremacy Can’t Happen Without Self-Care.

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How Far Have We Come? The Current State of Black Women’s and Girls’ Health

Advancements in public health and related fields have aided many populations in experiencing positive health outcomes. This can been the case for Black women and girls. We’ve witnessed a 44% decrease in teen pregnancy rates since 2006 (CDC, 2016b) and a 25% decrease in new HIV/AIDS cases among Black women (CDC, 2017a).

The Commonwealth Fund (2016) reported that uninsured rates for Black women dropped from 25 to 16%. And the National Center for Education Statistics (2016) found that Black women earned more than half of all degrees awarded among Black men and women. We have significant milestones to celebrate!   However, these achievements and subsequent celebrations are not meant to exempt us from continuing to pay attention to areas where we have not seen as many positive strides. For African American women and girls  ages 1-4, as well as 10-44, chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and stroke are still the leading causes of death (CDC, 2017b).

The school to prison pipeline has worsened for Black girls, who now represent a disproportionate number of those suspended from school and referred to police (Zoukis, 2016). And while Black women are leading in earning postsecondary degrees, we still lag in obtaining leadership roles and private sector jobs (AAUW, 2016). So while we celebrate the strides we’ve made, we continue to look for, create, and foster opportunities to influence positive changes that will ultimately increase our health outcomes.There are ongoing efforts to address the health of Black women, girls, and communities as a whole. For example, author and scholar Melissa Harris Perry (2017) has recently made headlines promoting “squad care” as a complement or alternative to self-care. According to Perry, squad care expands our notion of attempts to exclusively care for ourselves to a practice of involving other women in efforts to help one another heal and thrive.

In an effort to increase the number of Black girls pursuing STEM related careers, Black girls code initiatives are emerging across the country (Guynn, 2016). As the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) remains in question, it also becomes more imperative that we remain vigilant about our health and are intentional in addressing health disparities within the Black community. Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) grants funded by the CDC (2016a), alongside grassroots efforts like Black Girls Run and Black Girls Bike are other approaches to addressing the ecological barriers to healthy lifestyles, while also creating supportive environments for increasing physical activity. We’ve made tremendous strides in addressing the health of Black women and girls, but our work is not done. We continue to gather, to talk, to plan, and to see our efforts through with an awareness that our work is never done – it evolves. It expands. It responds to the events in our environments. It readjusts and shifts, all while celebrating and refocusing on new goals. As new challenges arise, we re-strategize, while also taking a moment to celebrate our progress!

– Dr. Sabrina Tindal Cherry

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