Black Woman's Health Imperative Section

Print Page | Send to a Friend Home > About Us

Inside the Imperative

The Black Women's Health Imperative (Imperative) is the only organization devoted solely to advancing the health and wellness of America's 19.5 million Black women and girls through advocacy, community health and wellness education and leadership development. Founded as the National Black Women's Health Project in 1983 by health activist and McArthur genius Byllye Y. Avery, the Imperative promotes optimal health for African American women across their lifespan - physically, mentally and spiritually.


For us, health is not merely the absence of illness, but the active promotion of physical, spiritual, mental and emotional wellness of this and future generations. Since our beginning in Atlanta, Ga., when we led the fight for a broader and more responsible reproductive health and rights agenda for women of color, we have become the leading force for the elimination of racial and gender-related health disparities for African American women.

What We Do

The Imperative seeks to improve the health and wellness of Black women by providing health resources and information, community health and wellness education, promoting advocacy and health policies, and interpreting and issuing reports on relevant research about the health status of America's Black women. We offer our members culturally appropriate tools and information to be an informed and empowered healthcare consumer.

It is the aim of the Imperative to harness the collective power of Black women by bringing together individual women and affiliated women's organizations together around a common health agenda. Utilizing its structure of affiliated organizations, the Imperative is well positioned to create new ways of working together to help establish a national agenda on health disparities for Black women. Our goal is to create awareness among our key constituencies, work collaboratively with our community in the sharing of health information and build the capacity of African American women to advocate for and secure the preventive care and treatment they need.

What We Offer

  • Ask the Expert
  • Physician Locator Service
  • Public Education Forums
  • Education Campaigns
  • Public Awareness Surveys and Polls
  • Interactive Assessment Tools
  • E-newsletters
  • Healthy Living Resources
At the heart of our work is a comprehensive approach that is guided by a collective vision and a proven C.A.R.E. framework:

  • Community engagement: We strive to connect to the community and serve as a catalyst and support for changing policies, programs, and practices by working collaboratively with community partners and building coalitions to help mobilize resources, influence systems and change relationships and behaviors within communities and families.
  • Advocacy: We strive to be the largest, most powerful and influential national advocacy network of Black women who are trained, active advocates for health equity and justice at the local and national levels.
  • Resources and research: We strive to be widely recognized and highly regarded as a credible information source on Black women's health by Black women who are healthcare consumers and caregivers, health care practitioners, policy makers, women's organizations, health industries and the media. We also strive to promote important, cutting-edge research to increase the body of knowledge on the health of Black women.
  • Education: We strive to educate, inform and increase awareness of health issues so that Black women can become savvy health care consumers.