How long have you been a member of the Black Health Network, and what drew you to CBHN?
I have been an official member of the Black Health Network since 2022, but I have been engaged in the California Black Health Network’s mission to build a black health agenda through its community outreach projects since 2017.
What is your current profession?
I am the Founder and CEO of Advocate for Nurturing Transition (ANT) Consulting and currently serve in the capacity as a Cultural Community Liaison Consultant for the African American community with Riverside University Health System - Behavioral Health.
From your perspective, what barriers exist in achieving health equity for Black Californians?
Multiple barriers exist, beginning with the mistrust of the medical system coupled with a shortage of Black physicians. There is an inherent lack of trust within medical institutions between providers and Black patients. Unfortunately, trusted messengers such as the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the National Institute of Health have each published apologies for their support of structural racist practices and the exclusion of African American physicians. These institutions have been instrumental in ensuring that Black people were disproportionately underrepresented in research studies and clinical trials, thereby creating barriers that continue to directly affect Black Californians from achieving health equity.
Both in your work and with CBHN, how have you been able to prioritize the health of older Black Californians?
I've been able to prioritize my work by staying informed, connected, and engaged through collaborations and community partnerships that support the health and well-being of older Black Californians.
You co-lead BHN's Healthy Aging Peer Network; what motivated you to take on the role, and what do you hope to accomplish?
I'm a lifelong learner, and I take joy in being an advocate. I hope through my advocacy work that I can one day be instrumental in transforming the consciousness of Black Californians to also serve as an advocate for self, family, and community.
What inspires you to keep doing the work you do?
There is much work to be done, and I'm inspired by knowing that my work brings me a sense of purpose and fulfillment.