Black women have navigated danger in America for centuries. Our humanity, our safety, and our rights are devalued in the workplace, doctor’s offices, classrooms, and our own neighborhoods. As the brutal and reckless police murder of Breonna Taylor demonstrated, we are not protected even when asleep in our own homes. The need for change in every system, from education to housing to health care, is urgent.
In response, the Black Women’s Health Imperative (BWHI) has updated our Black Women Vote: National Health Policy Agenda for 2020 to include a fifth pillar, Social Justice. This new section addresses the issues of police violence, sexual assault, and incarceration. The 2018 agenda’s four pillars focus on Access to Quality and Affordable Health Care, Equitable Responses to Public Health Emergencies, Sufficient Diversity in Clinical Research, and Increased Funding to Support Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Under each pillar, the Agenda includes a thorough yet non-exhaustive list of the most pressing health issues facing Black women today, with concrete policy recommendations to help move toward real solutions.