Black History Month | Highlighting the Work of Byllye Avery

This week we are highlighting the work of Byllye Avery, a reproductive justice and health-care activist. A widely-recognized American activist, she focuses on the health and wellness of low-income Black women. 

Avery experienced a series of personal health problems, such as being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and losing her husband to a heart attack. Through this time, she became aware of the mistreatment and misrepresentation of the Black community in the healthcare industry. 

She co-founded the Gainesville Women’s Health Center in Florida in 1974 as a response. This center helped countless low-income Black women access what they needed for their health and wellbeing. This was just a stepping-stone; 10 years later, she opened the National Black Women’s Health Project, which is now called the Black Women’s Health Imperative. They are dedicated to improving the health and wellness of the nations’ 21 million Black women and girls “physically, emotionally, and financially.” 

The Imperative has won various prestigious awards for its work including the MacArther fellowship. 

Menstrual inequity continues to be a problem in the United States and globally. Yonitox is grateful to Byllye Avery and her organization for fighting to eradicate period poverty and create a place of wellness for Black women and girls. 

Stay tuned for another featured African American menstrual activist next week. If there are more activists and organizations that you want to see highlighted, please email imanu@yonitox.org and let us know!

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