Re-Imagining Black Girls' and Women's Health: Symposium and Workshop
The agenda and ongoing updates for the reception, symposium and workshop can be viewed
• Online:
• You may also download the guidebook app to your mobile device or tablet:
Facebook invitation:

If you are interested in becoming a vendor, please complete the following form:

(All participants must register)
Registration is $65 and ends May 5th:
Register here:
*Note: Towson University affiliated persons will be eligible for waiver of the registration fee. You will need to complete the entire registration process to secure your registration.

The Towson University's Department of Women's and Gender Studies invites you to attend our 2018 Re-Imagining Black Girls' and Women's Health Symposium and Workshop on Thursday, May 17th - Saturday, May 19th.

DATES: May 17-19, 2018
ADDRESS: West Village Commons, 424 Emerson Drive, Towson, MD 21204, 4th floor Ballrooms A (403) and B (404), Towson University
CONTACT: 410.704.2660 or

Thursday, May 17th: Reception
Friday, May 18th: Symposium
Saturday, May 19th: Workshop

*Speakers include (check back for updates)

• jessica Care moore, Poet, CEO of Moore Black Press, Executive Producer of Black WOMEN Rock!, and founder of the literacy-driven, Jess Care Moore Foundation

• Sonia Sanchez, Poet. Mother. Professor. National and International lecturer on Black Culture and Literature, Women’s Liberation, Peace and Racial Justice. Sponsor of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Board Member of MADRE. Sonia Sanchez is the author of over 16 books

• Beverly Guy Sheftall, PhD, Professor, Chair of Women’s Research & Resource Center/Comparative Women’s Studies, Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Women’s Studies, Spelman College

• Layli Maparyan, PhD, MS, Katherine Stone Kaufmann '67 Executive Director of the Wellesley Centers for Women and Professor of Africana Studies and author of The Womanist Reader and The Womanist Idea

• Linda Goler Blount, MPH, President and CEO, Black Women’s Health Imperative

• Michele Emery, President, Baltimore Metropolitan Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc

• Nykidra Robinson, Founder/CEO of Black Girls Vote, Inc

• Jan Desper, MPA, Black Mental Health Alliance

*Hotel Accommodations:
A block of rooms have been reserved for symposium and workshop participants. When you make your reservations, notify them you are a part of the Towson University group attending the "Re-Imagining Black Girls' and Women's Health Symposium and Workshop" to receive the discounted rate ($179.00 for one bedroom suite per night, plus state tax 6% & occupancy tax 8%) before Thursday April 26, 2018
Use this link to make reservations:

Hotel Information:
Towson University Marriott Conference Hotel
Address: 10 Burke Ave, Towson, MD 21204
Phone: (410) 324-8100 or (1-800) 228-9290

We look forward to seeing you in May. Keep up with us via the hashtag #ReclaimingBGWH and contact us at for any questions.

*NOTE: If you submitted a proposal for a presentation, we will notify you of the status of your proposal by Monday, April 2nd. Thank you for your submission.

The goal for this symposium and workshop is to convene scholars, activists, students, professionals and community members to highlight the current state of research on Black girls' and women's health and highlight action-based approaches to holistically addressing their health. Specifically, we will discuss how Black girls' and women's health is impacted by the current political context, including the implications of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare, and proposed legislations to repeal and replace the ACA such as the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 and the Healthcare Freedom Act of 2017, also known as the “skinny bill." This goal is consistent with the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls, NoVo Foundation, African American Policy Forum (AAPF) and the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) recent calls to eliminate barriers and disparities experienced by Black girls and women (Watson, Kelly, Clarke, 2016; NoVo Foundation, 2016; AAPF, 2015; DuMonthier et al, 2017). In addition, this goal responds to recent calls to employ transdisciplinary research collaborations and broad stakeholder engagement as effective approaches to lead to more sustainable community and system-level changes (Purnell et al., 2016). Understanding the experiences and solution-oriented recommendations of Black girls and women – tenets central to Black Feminist Consciousness and Womanist Thought – may offer insight towards cultural values, power dynamics, and effective policy interventions and implementation. This symposium and workshop will contribute to this knowledge gap. The conference will examine health and social policies within the domains of spiritual, mental/emotional, physical, and collective health and well-being for Black girls’ and women

Within the United States (U.S.), women and girls of color bear a disproportionate burden of illness and death. They experience serious disparities in health access and health outcomes such as infant mortality, cancer screening and management, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, STIs including HIV/AIDS and obesity (US DHHS, 2011). Among and within most Black or African American families, there are distinct class or income variations, yet similar health outcomes. For example, the disproportionate maternal mortality (Curtin & Hoyert, 2017) and pregnancy outcomes such as low birth weight and infant mortality (Jackson et al, 2001) rates among Black women, across all incomes, suggest a direct relationship between Black women’s health and institutionalized, intersectional discrimination. Further, there exists disparities in access to preventative care among African Americans and Whites that are comparable to low-income countries (Howell & Starks, 2017). Since the implementation of the ACA, sixteen percent of Black women in the U.S. still have unmet health insurance coverage needs (Institute for Women’s Policy Research, 2017).


Curtin S.C., Hoyert D.L. (2017) Maternal Morbidity and Mortality: Exploring Racial/Ethnic Differences Using New Data from Birth and Death Certificates. In: Hoque M., Pecotte B., McGehee M. (eds) Applied Demography and Public Health in the 21st Century. Applied Demography Series, vol 8. Springer

DuMonthier, A., Childers, C., Milli, J. (June 7, 2017). The Status of Black Women in the United States: Racial & Ethnic Inequality, The Status of Women and Girls, Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Retrieved from

Howell, M & Starrs, A. (7/26/2017) “For women of color, access to vital health services is threatened, ” The Hill, Retrieved 7/28/17 from

NoVo Foundation (2016). “NoVo Foundation Announces $90 Million Investment in Girls and Young Women of Color Across the United States,” [Press release]. Retrieved from

Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Understanding and Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care,, In Smedley, B. D., In Stith, A. Y., & In Nelson, A. R. (2009). Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care (with CD). Washington: National Academies Press.


Waston Coleman, B., Kelly, R., Clarke, Y. (2016). “Reps. Watson Coleman, Kelly, Clarke, Announce Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls,” [Press release]. Retrieved from

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