The Black community is comprised of people of Black African descent and is a collection of ethnically, culturally, linguistically, and religiously diverse communities. Its members are primarily born in Africa, the Caribbean or Canada and include people whose roots are many generations in Canada, established immigrants and recent newcomers.
There are several factors beyond genetics that affect’s someone’s health and well-being. These factors are known as the social determinants of health and include: education/literacy, housing/safe shelter, employment/socio-economic status, poverty, healthy environments, environmental issues, racism and violence.
The Black Health Alliance recognizes that Black people are over-represented among people with illness and disease such as hypertension, diabetes and HIV/AIDS. We also acknowledge that racism and other forms of oppression affect our health. In direct response to these issues, we have defined our reason for being through our mission statement.
- To reduce the racial disparities in health outcomes and promote health and wellbeing for people from the diverse Black communities in Canada with emphasis on the broad determinants of health, including racism.
- Our Vision Statement guides us towards our future and clarifies our expectations and hopes for the BHA, its partners and collaborators and ultimately for the diverse Black communities in Canada.
- Vision Statement:
- People from the diverse Black communities in Canada experience optimal health and wellbeing.
- Our Values Statement builds on our work over the years and describes how we work with each other and on behalf of our stakeholders on a daily basis.
- Values Statement:
- The Black Health Alliance is committed to working from an inclusive, anti-racism, anti-oppression, participatory framework that is accountable and engaging of the diverse Black community.
Our Strategic Directions outline our key areas of commitment and where we will focus our human and financial resources over the next three years. They represent areas where we can best focus our efforts in reducing racial disparities within diverse Black communities in Canada. Our Strategic Directions, not in priority order, are as follows:
Ensure Our Sustainability
We will identify and actively pursue funding with a particular focus on establishing ongoing funding to support our daily operations. We will nurture positive relationships with existing and new funders and donors. We will collaborate with others who support our vision in an effort to raise monetary and other resources to support our activities. We will engage all levels of the BHA in our pursuit to increase our financial resources.
Enhance the Response to Racial Disparities and Health Inequities
We will undertake efforts and use various communication vehicles to inform key stakeholders of issues related to racial disparities and health inequities. We will promote who we are and what we do to a wide range of stakeholders. We will establish ourselves as a key resource around issues related to the health of Black people and the Black community. We will participate in and/or lead efforts and activities to achieve our mission and realize our vision, including influencing public policy. We will strengthen and build relationships, collaborations and partnerships with individuals and organizations that share our vision.
Effectively Engage Our Membership
We will engage our membership to actively participate in the work and life of the BHA. We will foster better communication and coordination among our membership. We will increase and diversify our membership through outreach and marketing of the BHA. We will facilitate educational opportunities to enhance the knowledge base of our membership and other key stakeholders.
Strengthen Our Research Capacity
We will pursue leadership and innovation in community-based, culturally competent health research. We will develop strong partnerships and collaborations with researchers, research bodies and related institutions. We will undertake initiatives to inform and attract health and social researchers. We will conduct and advocate for effective, participatory research with practical outcomes that can be translated into real life changes. We will measure and document our results. We will engage the community as a source and recipient of information and knowledge, and support the efforts of others to do the same.