It’s time for our story to be told in a way that shows who we really are and what we do when it comes to our health.

The Black Women’s Health Imperative is changing the narrative about Black women’s health with IndexUS: What Healthy Black Women Can Teach Us About Health. It’s the first index of Black women’s health that’s based on healthy Black women. The Imperative will debut the publication at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting and Expo on October 31. It will be available to the public on November 28.

“Over time, we’ve come to accept a narrative that equates Black women with poor health, and poor health with poor behavior. This is what we see in the media and read in the language of research reports,” said Linda Goler Blount, Black Women’s Health Imperative’s president and CEO. “It’s time for our story to be told in a way that shows who we really are and what we do when it comes to our health. Black women are inherently strong, resilient and passionate about our health. We are not defined by disease, obesity or poverty.”

IndexUS uses data from the Black Women’s Health Study, which nearly 60,000 Black women participated in for more than 20 years, many of them ESSENCE magazine subscribers. It translates research and policy into language that’s easy to understand.

In addition to giving everyday women advice about what to do to improve their health, the publication ─ which looks and reads more like a magazine than a traditional health index ─ explores how Black women define health and wellness, creates a snapshot of healthy Black women by region and examines critical policies that have shaped Black women’s health.

“We hope policymakers, funders and business leaders will read the report. There is valuable information here for them to understand the lived experiences of Black women and what this means for investments in research, programs and policies,” said Blount.

You can download IndexUS for free on the Imperative’s website,, starting November 28.


About the Black Women’s Health Imperative

The Black Women’s Health Imperative is the only national organization dedicated to improving the health and wellness of the nation’s 21 million Black women and girls — physically, emotionally and financially. We identify the most pressing health issues and invest in the best of the best strategies, partners and organizations that share our goal: ensuring Black women live longer, healthier, more prosperous lives.

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