Burton D. Morgan Center, Knobel Hall
150 Ridge Road
Granville, OH 43023
|Sponsor(s):||Office of the Provost|
The Tuesday Lunch Series welcomes Hanne Blank, visiting assistant professor of women’s and gender studies, presenting “Sisterhood and Strife: The Making and Unmaking of the National Black Women’s Health Project.”
Founded in 1983 in the wake of the first visionary national conference on Black women’s health, the National Black Women’s Health Project was a galvanizing grassroots force in the lives of many thousands of Black American women. The organization, initially under the aegis of the National Women’s Health Network, coalesced around the work of two dynamic women activists: experienced health feminist Byllye Avery, already co-founder of two other pioneering feminist women’s health institutions, and social justice consciousness-raiser Lillie Allen.
From its inception, the NBWHP struggled to cope with the multiple, deeply intersecting burdens of creating a social justice oriented Black women’s health agenda that not only had to bridge gaps of accessibility, affordability, and education but also recognized Black women’s profound need for sufficient social, emotional, economic, and political support to allow them to improve their health and health outcomes. Despite many successes, the staggering weight of this complex agenda quickly became inextricably linked with organizational politics, personality conflicts, economic woes, and a controversial and organizationally distinctive form of psychopolitical self-analysis that led to the downfall of the NBWHP as a grassroots resource for Black women’s lives. The making and unmaking of the National Black Women’s Health Project is a history that speaks, loudly and distinctly, to present-day attempts to address both racial and gender-based health disparities.