HEALTHY CHURCHES NOW
Our Impetus for this Project
In 1966, speaking at a Convention of Medical Committee on Human Rights in Chicago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. described health inequalities as “shocking and inhuman.” COVID-19 has further exposed the shock and inhumanity of health inequities. According to the CDC, Black health culture is negatively impacted by several factors that have lead to Health Justice and general wellness issues, including (a) living conditions, as a result of institutional racism in the form of residential housing segregation; (b) work conditions and lack of employment; and (c) underlying health conditions as a result of genetic disposition, lack of access to adequate healthcare, or other reasons resulting in chronic diseases and death.
A key component of our IPP work is our building healthy churches as they are a community cornerstone. Envisioned as a response to systemic racial and health inequities, this program is a direct action commitment, customizable for persons or communities or institutions, the Pledge offers guidelines for concrete action to create systemic life and health for Black Subjects, specifically, and for marginalized communities, generally. Actions may include (but not be limited to) the following:
Programmatic Funding: Allocate a percentage of annual budgets or discretionary spending towards Black health initiatives, for a set number of consecutive years (of course you can keep going);
Donate to organizations doing work at the intersection of racial and health justice;
Mental and Spiritual Wellbeing: Devote a specific time of prayer (per day) for the healing of traumatized communities;
Mentorship Program: Mentor students/young scholars for a a designated amount of weeks/months as a project or ongoing.
Set up a church pantry program or other relevant community service.
Identify issues of systemic inequity connected to health and race/ethnicity and create discussions around this.
Designate/Develop a Platform for Action-Plan(s) to mitigate or eliminate the inequity.
Design/Develop a Program/Event to implement your ideals/Goals.
Create Benchmarks and goals to generate excitement and for maximum impact. When possible, projects could be turned into permanent programs when sustainable and viable.
with Appendix include:
NSB C.A.R.E. Pledge Sheet
NSB Leadership Info Sheet
Identity leaders within to take the reigns
on implementing the project
Healthy Churches Now Lifelines Sheet (Ideas for Action):
Biblical resources (biblical texts and interpretations)
Christian Education programs
Annual events (alumni/ae events)
Possible Scope of Programs
Health events in churches
Mentorship and Internship programs