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Better together.

On Our Own Terms (OOOT) is an initiative of the Black Women’s Health Imperative (BWHI). OOOT is an informed network of organizations and experts who are focused on the prevention of HIV for, by and about Black cis and transgender women, as well as the care and treatment of women living with HIV.

why now

We simply don’t have time to waste.

According to the latest available data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 60 percent of all new HIV diagnoses in the US are among Black women. While their rates of infection are finally dropping (by 25 percent), we still have the highest rates among all women. In fact, Black women still have nearly 15 times the rate as their white counterparts, and five times the rate of Latinas. Black women and women of color must finally be a priority in policy and action in the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

Our work combines evidence-based practices, cross-sector collaborations and the strengthening of community assets to lift up the sexual health and well being of Black women. OOOT is highlighting our mutual abilities to deliver innovative solutions and make a lasting investment in prevention.

We’ve teamed up with legendary actress Keshia Knight Pulliam for a PSA urging you to Own Your Ish when it comes to your sexual health!

of Black women living with HIV contracted HIV through heterosexual contact
of HIV diagnoses were among African American Transgender women in 2014.
KESHIA video

Resources & Tools

OOOT Video PHAB cast episode 1
PhabCast Episode 1 Teaser 3
PhabCast Episode 1 Teaser 2

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Yessss @drkimneurodoc let’s normalize this way of thinking. Often our biggest critic is ourselves. Slow and steady will always get us closer to our goals and keep us healthier in the process.
RP: Many of us wake up everyday and say…today’s the day I want to give 100% to my goals….but there are days that we just can’t. From being tired or ill or just not in the mental space. You may only have 50 or 20 or 80 to give. But if you give what ever that number is… then you’ve given 100% of what you had.

Be easy on yourself.

Please share this with someone who may need this.

#giveityourall #giveityourbest #giveyourbest #giveityourbestshot #motivateyourselfeveryday #dailystoic #giveyourselfgrace #giveyourselfabreak #giveyourselfpermission #blackwomenshealth

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There is absolutely no genetic or biological explanation for this." - Linda G. Blount, MPH, President, BWHI.

America has a problem - the maternal mortality rate for Black women is 2.6 times the rate for White women, research shows. They are much more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications. Many Black women don't receive the same standard of care as their white counterparts, which includes not being listened to or valued by their providers. Additionally, Black women tend to begin pregnancy less healthy due to environmental factors like systemic racism. The Black maternal health crisis is a testament to how long-standing structural inequalities in society manifest in the bodies of Black women.

Notable researchers such as #ArlineGeronimus, #TeneLewis, and #FledaMaskJackson have made significant contributions in understanding concepts like weathering, allostatic loads, and maternal mortality. Their work offers invaluable insights that demand our attention and action. Click the link in our bio to read more.⁠

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📰 Charlayne Hunter-Gault: Pioneering Journalist! 📰 Born in Due West, South Carolina, Charlayne Hunter-Gault's journalistic endeavors have covered various topics, including healthcare disparities affecting black communities. With her fearless reporting and unwavering commitment to truth, she has illuminated the often overlooked issues surrounding health equity.⁠

Stepping into her shoes means recognizing her role in shaping public discourse on health. Walk #AMileInHerShoes, celebrate her contributions, and share how Charlayne Hunter-Gault's journalism has influenced your understanding of health disparities. From shining a light on systemic injustices to amplifying the voices of marginalized communities, her work continues to inspire meaningful change.⁠

Join us in celebrating these phenomenal women all month long! 🌟👟 #BlackWomensHealthImperative #BlkWomensHealth #HealthEquity⁠

Check out this CYL2 success story! Take the risk test today.

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The world has lost a beautiful light, sister Hydeia Broadbent. Her departure leaves a void that resonates deeply within us, for Hydeia was more than an advocate; many of us felt a familial connection to her. We journeyed with her from the moment she bravely shared her story on Oprah years ago, growing alongside her, inspired by her resilience.

Hydeia was not only a friend to the Black Women’s Health Imperative but also a powerful voice who inspired many through her life’s work. Before the pandemic, she graced us with her presence and wisdom on a panel at our USCA Pre-Conference Summit, leaving an indelible mark on all who heard her speak.

In this moment of sorrow, we wrap our arms around our community and all who held Hydeia dear. We urge you to keep her family and loved ones in your warmest thoughts.

#HydeiaBroadbent #InMemory #HIVAwareness #BlackWomensHealth

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🌐 Dr. Camara Jones: Leader in Public Health! 🌐⁠

Born in Washington, D.C., Dr. Camara Jones is a prominent physician and epidemiologist, known for her groundbreaking work in addressing racial and social disparities in health outcomes. Her journey embodies resilience and dedication to advocating for equitable healthcare access for all.⁠

Stepping into her shoes means acknowledging her leadership in dismantling systemic barriers that perpetuate health inequalities. Today, Dr. Jones' work continues to inspire and drive efforts toward achieving health equity worldwide.⁠

Walk #AMileInHerShoes, reflect on Dr. Jones' invaluable contributions, and share how her advocacy has influenced your commitment to addressing health disparities in your community. Join us in honoring her legacy this #BlackHistoryMonth. #CamaraJones #HealthHeroes #HealthEquity

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📚 Audre Lorde: Poet, Writer, and Health Activist! 📚 Audre Lorde's impact on literature and activism resonates today. Stepping into her shoes means acknowledging her advocacy for intersectionality, including issues related to race, gender, and health.⁠

Today, Audre's legacy challenges us to consider the interconnectedness of health and social justice. Her groundbreaking writings not only shed light on marginalized experiences but also sparked conversations about the profound impact of systemic inequalities on individual well-being.⁠

As we celebrate #BlackHistoryMonth, let's delve into Audre Lorde's work, exploring how her words continue to shape our understanding of health and wellness. Share your reflections on how Audre Lorde's writings have influenced your journey towards holistic well-being. Walk #AMileInHerShoes and honor the enduring legacy of this remarkable health hero. #AudreLorde #HealthHeroes #LiteratureAndHealth

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More About Aging Like a Fine Wine: Hormones and Menopause⁠

🔥🌸 Unlocking the Wisdom: CYL2 Explores Hormones and Menopause! 🌸🔥⁠

In the symphony of Black women's health, understanding the impact of hormones and menopause is crucial. CYL2 dives deep into this topic, offering insights into navigating this stage with grace and power. Walk with us #AMileInHerShoes, embracing the wisdom that comes with every phase of life. 🌟🚶‍♀️ #CYL2 #BlackHistoryMonth #HealthWisdom #BWHI⁠

Check out this CYL2 success story! Take the risk test today.⁠

"The weight that I gained over the last few years and the people I knew who are living with diabetes really motivated me to join Change Your Lifestyle. Change Your Life program. I even know some people, who have died because of complications from diabetes. So I was looking for a way to live a healthier life. I knew about eating a healthier way and exercising, so when I joined the class, I was looking to hear from others and get tips about how to be healthier. The stories that came up and the work sessions we have during each class have been helpful. For me having it as part of my daily routine and being able to have this at work, presented a perfect opportunity to change my health. I did not understand what to look for when looking at labels in the past and this class has taught me to really understand label reading. This has been very helpful and life changing. The program has created a buzz at work! I think that if more employers offer this program people will become healthier.⁠


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Dr. Mae Jemison (b. 1956)⁠

🚀 Dr. Mae Jemison: First African American Woman Astronaut! 🚀 Born in Decatur, Alabama, Dr. Mae Jemison's journey to space made history. Stepping into her shoes means recognizing her not only as a space pioneer but also as an advocate for STEM education and healthcare initiatives.⁠

Today, Dr. Jemison's influence inspires the next generation in science and medicine. Walk #AMileInHerShoes, celebrate her accomplishments, and share how her trailblazing spirit has impacted your perception of STEM and healthcare. #MaeJemison #BlackHistoryMonth #HealthHeroes⁠

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💖 Happy Valentine's Day from BWHI! 💖 How are you prioritizing self-love and self-care in 2024? Remember, self-care is crucial for women's health and wellness. Share your favorite self-care practices with us! #LoveYourselfBWHI #ValentinesDay #WomensHealth ...

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Dr. Joycelyn Elders (b. 1933)⁠

🩺 Dr. Joycelyn Elders: Surgeon General and Health Advocate! 🩺 Born in Schaal, Arkansas, in 1933, Dr. Joycelyn Elders cemented her place in history as the 15th Surgeon General of the United States. Her groundbreaking tenure was marked by a steadfast dedication to advancing public health, particularly in the realms of reproductive health and HIV/AIDS awareness.⁠

Throughout her career, Dr. Elders tirelessly advocated for comprehensive sex education, reproductive rights, and access to healthcare for underserved communities. Her progressive approach to addressing taboo topics and promoting evidence-based practices sparked crucial conversations nationwide.⁠

Today, Dr. Elders' influence continues to resonate in ongoing discussions on public health policy and advocacy. By walking #AMileInHerShoes, we can appreciate the trailblazing path she forged and reflect on the lasting impact of her work.⁠

During #BlackHistoryMonth and beyond, let's honor Dr. Joycelyn Elders' legacy as a Health Hero. Share your reflections on how her groundbreaking contributions have shaped your views on public health advocacy. #JoycelynElders #HealthEquity #PublicHealthRevolution⁠

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🎗️ Join us on February 28th, 2024, as RDDC hosts its 2nd annual Rare Disease Day Reception in Washington, DC! 🎉 We're excited to present the inaugural RISE Awards to rare disease health equity champions who embody Resilience, Impassioned advocacy, Strength, and Empowerment towards our mission. 🏆 Don't miss this inspiring evening at LongView Gallery from 6pm to 8pm ET. Let's celebrate and honor those making a difference! 💫 #RareDiseaseDay #RDDC #HealthEquityChampions ...

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📢 Calling all Black men, ages 18+! 📢⁠


Join us for an engaging listening session tailored specifically for you. We're seeking your valuable insights on a culturally tailored program facilitated by Black men, designed to bring about lifestyle changes. ⁠

Listening Session Dates & Times:⁠
- Wed, February 7, 8 pm EST - 10 pm EST⁠
- Sat, February 10, 10 am EST - 12 pm EST⁠
- Mon, February 12, 7 pm EST - 9 pm EST⁠

Your participation involves:⁠
- Joining a 2-hour Zoom session⁠
- Keeping your camera on for the entire group discussion⁠

Don't miss this opportunity to make your voice heard and receive a $50 Visa gift card for your participation! Sign up now! 🙌 #BlackMensHealth #HealthEquity

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Henrietta Lacks (1920-1951)⁠

🧬 Henrietta Lacks: The Unsung Hero of Medical Progress! 🧬 Born in Virginia in 1920, Henrietta Lacks' remarkable legacy lies in her immortal HeLa cells, which have revolutionized medical research. Despite her tragic passing in 1951, Henrietta's cells continue to be an invaluable resource, contributing to countless medical breakthroughs.⁠

Her HeLa cells were the first human cells to be successfully cultured in a laboratory setting, paving the way for advancements in cancer research, virology, genetics, and beyond. They have been instrumental in developing vaccines, studying the effects of radiation and toxins, and understanding the mechanisms of various diseases.⁠

Henrietta's unwitting contribution to science underscores the importance of informed consent and ethical considerations in research. Her story serves as a poignant reminder of the often overlooked individuals behind scientific progress.⁠

As we celebrate #BlackHistoryMonth, let's honor Henrietta Lacks' enduring legacy and reflect on how her story shapes our perception of medical research and the ethical responsibilities inherent in scientific exploration. Walk #AMileInHerShoes, delve into her extraordinary contribution, and share your thoughts on the profound impact of her cells on advancing healthcare. #HenriettaLacks #HealthHeroes⁠

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Rebecca Lee (1831-1915)⁠

👩‍⚕️ Rebecca Lee: Breaking Barriers in Medicine! 👩‍⚕️ Born in Delaware, Rebecca Lee's journey as the first African American female physician is a remarkable stride in medical history. Despite facing numerous challenges and discrimination, Lee persevered, demonstrating exceptional resilience and determination.⁠

Rebecca's accomplishments extend beyond her groundbreaking achievement as the first African American female physician. Throughout her illustrious career, she pioneered innovative medical practices, particularly in obstetrics and gynecology, revolutionizing women's healthcare access. Her groundbreaking research on maternal and infant health significantly reduced mortality rates among underserved communities, leaving a lasting impact on public health initiatives.⁠

Moreover, Rebecca's commitment to education and mentorship paved the way for future generations of minority healthcare professionals. She established scholarships and mentorship programs aimed at supporting aspiring medical students from underrepresented backgrounds, fostering a more inclusive and diverse healthcare workforce.⁠

Today, Rebecca's legacy lives on through the countless lives she touched and the enduring influence she has had on the medical community. Her unwavering dedication to advancing healthcare equity and serving marginalized populations continues to inspire healthcare professionals worldwide.⁠

Join us in commemorating Rebecca Lee's extraordinary contributions during #BlackHistoryMonth. Let's celebrate her pioneering spirit and honor her legacy by advocating for equitable healthcare access and diversity in the medical field. #RebeccaLee #HealthHeroes #MedicalPioneer

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🔴✨ On this National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, we stand together in solidarity. 💪🏽🖤 Our “I am HIV Possible” initiative empowers women to take control of their sexual health and make informed choices. Remember, your health, your options! 💃🏾💬 Join us as we spread awareness, reduce stigma, and celebrate resilience. Together, we can make a difference! 🌟 #IAmHIVPossible #NBHAAD #BlackHealthMatters #BlackWomensHealth ...

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🔴✨ On this National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, we stand together in solidarity. 💪🏽🖤 Our "I am HIV Possible" initiative empowers women to take control of their sexual health and make informed choices. Remember, your health, your options! 💃🏾💬 Join us as we spread awareness, reduce stigma, and celebrate resilience. Together, we can make a difference! 🌟 #IAmHIVPossible #NBHAAD #BlackHealthMatters #BlackWomensHealth ...

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Dr. Dorothy Height (1912-2010)⁠

🌺 Dr. Dorothy Height: A Pillar in Civil Rights and Women's Health! 🌺 Born in Richmond, VA, Dr. Dorothy Height's influence extends far beyond her lifetime. As a key figure in the civil rights movement, she dedicated herself to advancing women's rights and health, particularly focusing on issues affecting African American women.⁠

Walking #AMileInHerShoes means acknowledging Dr. Height's tireless efforts. Her work laid the foundation for ongoing advocacy, reminding us that the pursuit of equality in women's health is an enduring journey. Share your reflections on #DorothyHeight and join us in honoring her impactful legacy. 🌐🚺 #BlackHistoryMonth #HealthHeroes⁠

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In the spirit of honoring Black history, we're proud to highlight CYL2, our signature program that's making waves in the world of preventive health. Did you know that CYL2 is the first CDC-approved culturally tailored lifestyle change curriculum for Black women? It's time to walk #AMileInHerShoes, exploring topics like chronic stress, intersectionality, self-care, aging gracefully, and the powerful connection between money and health.⁠

Ready to embark on a transformative journey? Dive into our App, join the community, and take charge of your well-being! 🌟📲 #CYL2 #BlackHistoryMonth #HealthEmpowerment #BWHI

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Mary Eliza Mahoney (1845-1926)⁠

👩‍⚕️ Mary Eliza Mahoney: Paving the Way in Healthcare! 👩‍⚕️ Born in Boston, Mary Eliza Mahoney's legacy is a testament to her groundbreaking contributions as the first African American nurse. Stepping into her shoes means acknowledging the challenges she faced and the barriers she broke in a time when diversity in healthcare was scarce.⁠

Today, Mary's impact echoes in the diversity of healthcare professionals. Walking #AMileInHerShoes, we celebrate her journey and invite you to reflect on how her pioneering spirit has influenced the healthcare landscape we benefit from today. Share your thoughts on #MaryMahoney and her enduring legacy. 🩺👟 #BlackHistoryMonth #HealthHeroes

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🌟 Fannie Lou Hamer: A Trailblazer for Civil Rights and Health Equity! 🌟 Born in rural Mississippi, Fannie Lou Hamer stands as a symbol of resilience and advocacy. As a prominent figure in the civil rights movement, she not only fought for voting rights but also dedicated herself to ensuring healthcare access for black communities.⁠

Stepping into Fannie's shoes means recognizing her profound impact on health equity. Her courageous strides in challenging systemic injustices reverberate today as we continue the fight for equal healthcare opportunities. Join us in honoring #FannieLouHamer and walk #AMileInHerShoes toward a future of inclusive health advocacy. 🏃‍♀️✨ #BlackHistoryMonth #HealthHeroes⁠

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