The Color of Health Care: NAACP To Examine Health Care Issues in Communities of Color

First Lady Michelle Obama and EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson To Address Annual Convention


WASHINGTON DC –The NAACP will shine a spotlight on health and health disparities during its 101st Annual Convention on Saturday, July 10, 2010.

The “Health is a Social Justice Issue – A True Civil Right,” symposium will highlight the Association’s role in civil rights and health care reform and will feature the EPA’s first African American administrator Lisa Jackson.  Healthcare providers, faith leaders and government officials will announce community action strategies for a robust campaign for healthier communities and better health policies.

The NAACP will highlight a specific campaign on HIV/AIDS which will focus on African American men and the faith community.  Health workshops will provide an open forum to facilitate candid conversations about HIV prevention, offer screenings for youth, adults and seniors, establish training areas for education, and develop strategies for promoting awareness in its over 1,200 local units. The “I Know” campaign sponsored by ACT Against AIDS Leadership Initiative (AAALI) will also take place during this session.  The campaign is a part of the AAALI’s initiative to harness its collective strength and reach of traditional, longstanding African-American institutions to increase HIV-related awareness, knowledge, and action within black communities across the United States.

Gilead Sciences in partnering with the NAACP for $465,000 over 2 years to begin our work in HIV prevention & Black Faith Leader Mobilization and Empowerment around this epidemic.  From this 2 year partnership, the NAACP will develop a national Faith Leader HIV/AIDS prevention manual.

The NAACP has taken on several efforts in the past year, including its 880 Campaign for Real Healthcare Reform Now. The campaign’s name derived from findings suggesting that the deaths of 880,000 African Americans could have been prevented had adequate health care reform been passed in the last decade. The  NAACP led a coalition of more than 50 civil rights and advocacy groups to create an unprecedented “civil rights war room” where organization leaders developed a strategy to successfully advocate for the passage of the National Health Care Reform Bill in March.

“Health care is a fundamental civil right,” said NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous. “As we usher in a new era of health care provisions, we must identify the best ways to implement this legislation in the best interests of low income communities and communities of color.”

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

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