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Initiative Empowers Neighborhood, Seeks to Improve Quality of Life For Black Women East of the River in Washington, D.C.

Black Women Thriving East of the River rework their group in Washington D.C.

Nakeisha Neal Jones

Supported by the Jane Bancroft Robinson Basis, Black Women Thriving East of the River Initiative Begins Implementing Well being & Workforce Interventions in DC

We mobilized to dismantle inequitable methods by convening group leaders and the most impacted people in these neighborhoods…the group created a collection of specific, actionable interventions.”

— Lori Jackson, JBRF’s president

WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES, July 20, 2023/ — A brand new initiative, Black Women Thriving East of the River, empowered Black ladies throughout the Anacostia River to develop interventions that handle two of their most urgent challenges: most cancers survival and alternatives for high quality jobs and careers. Now, with continued assist from the Jane Bancroft Robinson Basis (JBRF), Part I of the interventions is being carried out and can enhance the high quality of life in these communities.

With out fanfare, the basis and girls from the group started their work in 2019. The 28 ladies transitioned from defining and understanding the issues to growing options to dismantle dangerous methods. The group had various backgrounds and lived experiences in healthcare, group service, schooling, workforce growth, and varied different specialties. They’re physicians, group activists, and non-profit leaders who run
organizations comparable to Momma’s Secure Haven and the Academy of Hope.

“We mobilized to dismantle inequitable methods by convening group leaders and the most impacted people in these neighborhoods,” mentioned Lori Jackson, JBRF’s president. “By our initiative, the group created a collection of specific, actionable interventions to handle the root causes of the boundaries holding again Black ladies. We created workgroups to perceive higher the challenges concerning employment and financial mobility, in addition to sickness and demise from most cancers. We solid paths to options.”

The group discovered a transparent image of the suffering brought on by well being and financial inequities. In accordance to the District of Columbia’s Most cancers Management Plan, whereas general incidence and mortality charges throughout DC have declined, disparities persist by race. From 2014-2018, Ward 8 reported the highest most cancers incidence charge in DC, with 453 instances. In 2018, the most cancers incidence charge was 21.5% larger amongst Blacks than Whites. Most cancers mortality was additionally highest in Ward 8.
An revolutionary course of developed by Kara Blankner, JBRF’s director of applications, referred to as the Strategic Design Initiative (SDI), supplied tips for the group’s extraordinary group constructing, coaching, and facilitation. By this groundbreaking course of, individuals bonded by resolving energy dynamics, partaking throughout cultural differences, and committing to listening to and respecting all voices. It created a pleasant and productive work setting.

This yr, Nakeisha Neal Jones was employed as government director of Black Women Thriving East of the River and commenced implementing the interventions. Jones, a Washington native who grew up in Wards 7 & 8, is a collaborative chief with over 20 years of expertise increasing entry to schooling, workforce growth, and housing sources for under-represented households and youth. With JBRF pledging over $3 million of assist, and a $1m grant from the Higher Washington Neighborhood Basis’s Well being Fairness Fund, the initiative is shifting ahead.

Neal Jones mentioned they’ve launched a scholarship fund for Black ladies that has raised greater than $300,000. The funds might be dispersed to ladies needing assist pursuing health-related and different careers. A variety of candidates might be thought of, comparable to these in search of licensing, stackable credentials, or skilled certificates for medical transcription, group well being, or delivery doula. As well as, additionally eligible might be these in search of post-secondary levels in nursing, dentistry, medical analysis, or bodily remedy, in addition to future docs, surgeons, and dentists. Scholarship recipients may even obtain complete case administration assist and be eligible for discretionary grant {dollars} to handle any obstacles to success which will come up alongside the manner—comparable to childcare, transportation, program-related prices for a laptop computer or specialised software program, and so forth.

They’re additionally making a well being careers useful resource map, together with an informative web site supporting ladies in search of health-related careers. The employment useful resource web site will present assist that helps residents effectively establish the jobs and profession pathways that finest align with their private {and professional} objectives. The web site will embody complete profession particulars, together with coaching and assist to enter positions and discover different profession alternatives. It would consist of info on how they’ll get coaching for particular positions and jobs. Neal Jones can also be working with the human sources departments of healthcare amenities, studying what posts they hope to fill, now and in the future, and placing collectively a pipeline that may steer
Black ladies east of the river in direction of these positions.

As well as, they’re making a Most cancers Affected person Invoice of Rights that reminds ladies of their rights when navigating most cancers. For occasion, many ladies don’t notice they’ll ask for second opinions after they query a health care provider’s analysis.
In the future, Neal Jones mentioned the group would implement further parts that the group developed, measures comparable to figuring out apprenticeship alternatives, an employer coaching collection, most cancers panorama evaluation, most cancers navigation coaching, most cancers medical trials coaching, anti-misogynoir coaching, a most cancers Information Infrastructure Process Drive, and far more.

Abby Charles, MPH, Co-chair of the Workforce Improvement Workgroup and program director at the Institute for Public Well being Innovation, referred to as it “completely unfair and unjust” that the place an individual lives can decide their well being outcomes.

“In Washington, D.C., for Black ladies who stay in Wards 7 & 8, that is the inequity and the injustice that we see, “she mentioned, including that they are going to rework these outcomes by altering methods, insurance policies, and environments.

Shantie Morgan-Palmer, who based Evelyn’s Closet, which collected and supplied clothes to under-resourced residents in the District, mentioned: “I watched my mother overcome breast most cancers and watched my grandmother cross from it. I stand as a real testomony and an informer. By Black Women Thriving East of the River, we’ve got been armed with seeds to give to our household and associates. What we’ve got been given is priceless.”
Manon Matchett, the initiative’s co-lead and JBRF’s Director of Strategic Partnerships, mentioned the initiative is a chance to validate the lived experiences of Black ladies East of the River.

“This work units precedents that people can present important intel on potential options to issues in their communities,” she mentioned. “Our effort demonstrates the energy of bringing various stakeholders collectively and centering on the realities of day-to-day residing. My participation permits me to additional make investments in bettering high quality of life experiences for me, my household, and fellow neighbors.”
(For print or broadcast interviews, contact Michael Frisby at 202-625-4328 or

Michael Okay. Frisby
Frisby & Associates
+1 202-625-4328
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