The SXSW program committee is officially including NAACP President Nelson Linder as part of The Health Equity Collaborative (HEC)’s panel: “Health Equity: Ending Racism in the US Health Care” on March 12th from 10:00 - 11:00am. This panel will also feature Tammy Boyd of the Black Women's Health Imperative; Amy Hinojosa of MANA; A National Latina Organization; Justin Nelson of National LGBT Chamber of Commerce; and Jason Resendez of Us Against Alzheimer’s.
When Carter G. Woodson established Negro History week in 1926, he realized the importance of providing a theme to focus the attention of the public. The intention has never been to dictate or limit the exploration of the Black experience, but to bring to the public’s attention important developments that merit emphasis.
The theme for 2022 focuses on the importance of Black Health and Wellness. This theme acknowledges the legacy of not only Black scholars and medical practitioners in Western medicine, but also other ways of knowing (e.g., birthworkers, doulas, midwives, naturopaths, herbalists, etc.) throughout the African Diaspora. The 2022 theme considers activities, rituals and initiatives that Black communities have done to be well.
In order to foster good health and wellness Black people have embarked on self-determination, mutual aid, and social support initiatives to build hospitals, medical and nursing schools (i.e. Meharry Medical College, Howard University College of Medicine, Provident Hospital and Training School, Morehouse School of Medicine, etc.), and community clinics. Clinics were established by individuals, grassroots organizations and mutual aid societies, such as the African Union Society, National Association of Colored Women and Black Panther Party, to provide spaces for Black people to counter the economic and health disparities and discrimination that are found at mainstream institutions. These disparities and anti-Blackness led to communities developing phrases such as “When white folks catch a cold, Black folks get pneumonia.”
Black Health and Wellness not only includes one’s physical body, but also emotional and mental health. At this point in the 21st century, our understanding of Black health and wellness is broader and more nuanced than ever. Social media and podcasts, such as The Read hosted by Crissle and Kid Fury, have normalized talking about mental health and going to therapy, as well as initiatives such as Therapy for Black Girls. More of us understand the need to hold down, lift up, center, and fight fiercely for our beloved trans siblings and family. Black girls are doing breathwork, and there are whole yoga studios dedicated to people of color.
In the still overhanging shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, Black people should and do use data and other information-sharing modalities to document, decry, and agitate against the interconnected, intersecting inequalities intentionally baked into systems and structures in the U.S. for no other reason than to curtail, circumscribe, and destroy Black wellbeing. Moreover, Black communities must look to the past to provide the light for our future, by embracing the rituals, traditions, and healing modalities of our ancestors. These ways of knowing require a decolonization of thought and practice.
The March 1 Primary is coming—keep the following dates in mind:
A downloadable PDF of the Voters Guide will be available on our website, and you can see candidate responses and create a personalized ballot on VOTE411.org.
NAACP Austin President Linder is quoted in the recent Austin-American Statesman article saying, "Addressing people who are most affected by this pandemic requires community involvement and communication from government officials and all of our community organizations. But I don't see that happening." Read more here.
The title of this book reflects the question on the table for the city, county, school systems, and the entire local community: Where do we go from here? Chaos or community? It's time for us to make a commitment. Do collective actions reflect what we're currently seeing?
Austin is currently the fastest growing city in the United States and, from 2011 to 2016; it's expected to have an economic growth rate of over 6%, with a population growth rate approaching 3%. This means it's following a trend common across many major cities in Texas. Read more here.
Racism, Excessive Force, and Resignations: Will Austin Police Get Millions More Despite Its Troubled Legacy?
Right now, Austin voters are weighing in on one of the most consequential local elections in recent Texas memory. Prop A is a ballot initiative that would boost the Austin Police Department’s (APD) already-massive budget by hundreds of millions of dollars over the next several years. If passed, the proposition wouldn’t just syphon money away from critical city services like the fire department, EMS, and parks: It would set the table for similar efforts elsewhere in the state. Read more here.
"There are some incredible legal problems involving African Americans and Latinos in the [redistricting] maps, so it does not appear as though those are going to be rectified, so I don’t see any way around the fact that there might very well be litigation,” said Gary Bledsoe, Texas State NAACP President. Read more here.
Days away from Austin approving the hiring of APD's Interim Chief Joseph Chacon to the APD chief position, Austin NAACP President Nelson Linder said hiring Chacon for the job will set progress back 30 to 40 years. Read more here.
Local community leaders are asking for more than traffic improvement to come from a plan to upgrade Interstate 35 through downtown Austin. They also want it to improve the quality of life and perhaps even race relations in the city. Read more here.
For frequent updates, visit the Facebook page of Austin NAACP President Nelson Linder!