Community Health and Womanism
The following organizations are intended to be an entry point into an understanding of the relationship between the environment, people, and health as examined through a womanist framework of hyper inclusion and multiple intersectionalities. Of the plethora of health issues which exist in the world, the following organizations and activist groups collected are divided into three main topics:
- reproductive justice/freedom
These sources ask the reader to broaden and deepen our understanding of what makes a healthy community:
Who defines what healthy is?
Who makes the most impact on an environment and who faces the consequences?
Although most of the organizations are self-explanatory in their commitment to womanist values, I would like to highlight a few especially important groups. The three organizations selected to address toxicants in the environment are all founded by people of color and for people of color. Of the three toxicant-focused organizations, Toxic Soil Busters is particularly intersectional in that it is centers voices of youth. Soul Fire Farm under the food/nutrition section not only started a farm by and for people of color, but their program to bring Latinx and Black folk back to the earth has been hugely popular, and integrates the spiritual elements of farm work, just as womanism notes as central to its framework. While SisterSong and CLPP under the reproductive justice topic are activist organizations and have a variety of ways they fight from reproductive freedom, the Prison Birth Project works at a particular intersection of race, gender, class, and the prison industrial complex and is a vital resource for incarcerated pregnant people. Their mission is explicitly hyper-intersectional, inclusive and intentional. The final section asks the conversation to open to a global understanding of womanism with La Red de Mujeres Afro which fights for racial justice on a number of levels.
There are far more inclusive womanist organizations actively fighting environmental injustice not listed here, but these few are intended to demonstrate how the fight for racial justice, reproductive justice, age justice, and environmental justice are one and the same. It is with an intersectional lense and a centralization of marginalized voices that justice can be found.
- Toxic Soil Busters (Worcester, MA)
- Communities for a Better Environment (various locations in California)
- West County Toxics Coaltion ( West Contra Costa County, CA)
- Soul Fire Farm (Petersburg, NY)
- Detroit Black Food Security (Detroit, MI)
- Little Earth Urban Farm (Minneapolis, MN)
- SisterSong (Atlanta, GA)
- Civil Liberties and Public Policy (Amherst, MA)
- The Prison Birth Project (Holyoke, MA)
- “Summit of women of African descent opens in Nicaragua” (Global Information Network,
- La Red De Mujeres Afrolatinoamericanas, Afrocaribeñas, y la Diáspora (The Network of Women of Afrolatinamerica, Afrocaribbean, and of the Diaspora) (Managua, Nicaragua) This text is in Spanish, but the article above describes their intersectional, broad-reaching work.