Influential Black women amplify need for health equity amid COVID-19
American Heart Association announces EmPOWERED to Serve™ Black Women and Well-Being Roundtable in partnership with Divine Nine Sororities and The Links, Inc.
DALLAS, February 19, 2021 — In appreciation of Black History Month and American Heart Month, the American Heart Association, the leading global voluntary health organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke, is bringing together some of the most influential Black women in the country to address the prevalent health disparities affecting Black women, the global COVD-19 pandemic and its disproportionate effect on minority communities, and the COVID-19 vaccine. In collaboration with the Association’s Go Red for Women® movement, Empowered to Serve™ will host an hour-long roundtable bringing to the forefront the organization’s commitment to health justice and equitable health outcomes for Black women. The EmPOWERED to Serve™ Black Women and Well-Being Roundtable will be held virtually on February 25, 2021 at 5 p.m. PST/7 p.m. CST/8 p.m. EST. The event is free and open to the public. Attendees can register at the EmPOWERED to Serve website.
Moderated by Amy Dubois Barnett, vice president of digital for Black Entertainment Television (BET), the EmPOWERED to Serve™ Black Women and Well-Being Roundtable will convene this crucial conversation with a powerhouse panel bringing together the national leaders of all four of the Divine Nine National Pan-Hellenic Council sororities and The Links, Inc.
Panelists will include Mary Bentley LaMar, North Atlantic regional director of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; Beverly Evans Smith, national president and CEO of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; Valerie Hollingsworth Baker, international president of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.; Rasheeda Liberty, international president of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., Kimberly Jeffries Leonard, Ph.D., national president of The Links, Inc.; and Cheryl Pegus, M.D., a member of the American Heart Association board of directors and executive vice president of Walmart Health & Wellness.
All of these organizations, which represent millions of Black women worldwide, have national alliances with the American Heart Association and are jointly committed to improving the social determinants of health in the communities they serve, including health risk factors, especially for historically excluded populations. The American Heart Association is committed to go beyond words and help accelerate social equity by declaring structural racism as a major cause of poor health and premature death.
Earlier this year, the American Heart Association announced plans to invest more than $230 million over the next four years to support targeted initiatives and programs, while leading additional efforts to drive systemic public health change focused on removing barriers to equitable health for everyone, everywhere.
- AHA President’s Advisory: Structural racism causes poor health, premature death from heart disease and stroke
- AHA 2024 Health Equity Impact Goal
- AHA Presidential Advisory on rural health inequities
- Voices for Healthy Kids: $2.5 million granted to 16 community organizations committed to racial health equity
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health, and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)