Who We Are:
Founded in 1994, the California Black Women’s Health Project (CABWHP) is the only statewide organization solely devoted to improving the health of California’s Black women and girls through policy, advocacy, education and outreach. We are committed to advocating for policies and practices that promote and improve physical, spiritual, mental and emotional well-being. We believe a healthier future is possible when women are empowered to make choices in an environment where equal access and health justice are community priorities. For more information about our work, visit www.cabwhp.org.
What we do:
Advocacy by Black women is an essential component of the movement to eliminate racial disparities in health. CABWHP’s policy, advocacy, education and outreach work integrates traditional physical health issues with mental and emotional health. In 2000, responding to an overwhelming demand from our constituents, CABWHP officially launched our Policy Advocacy Program (“PAP”), an initiative comprised of several components through which we educate the community, policymakers and providers about health and policy issues important to Black women. Through the varied programmatic arms of the PAP, Black women’s voices are heard on significant health matters. We convene town hall meetings, publish policy issue guides, host regional and state policy convenings (including our annual Policy Summit in Sacramento) and facilitate the Advocate Training Program (“ATP”). The central focus of the ATP is to empower Black women who have not previously been involved in the advocacy and policy arenas to advocate for their health, the health of their families and the Black community. To date, the ATP has produced more than one hundred fifty (150) women’s health advocates in Los Angeles and the San Francisco/ Bay Area.
In 1994, we created “The Well,” a women’s self-help resource center located on the first floor of a low-income housing development in South Los Angeles. For 9 years, we provided health education workshops on breast cancer, domestic violence and HIV/AIDS prevention, free fitness and nutrition classes and self-help workshops for local women. Our community partners provided family planning services, substance abuse and drug intervention and other services as part of our collaborative community-based model. From 1995-1999, we hosted “Walking for Wellness” events in Oakland, Sacramento and Los Angeles with 5,000 women participants, while we managed a small policy office in Sacramento. In 1999, after meeting with stakeholders and community leaders, we began building a movement to increase our policy and advocacy presence in the state. We moved our statewide office to downtown Inglewood and embarked on a statewide survey to assess Black women’s health concerns and needs. Nearly 1400 women throughout California completed the survey and nearly 100 participated in focus groups. The results of this survey were published in a report entitled “Unheard Voices: Findings from the California Black Women’s Health Survey of 2000-2001” and they continue to drive our policy, advocacy, education and outreach work.