*Note* This scheduling program was not designed by folks who do a lot with APA Style and unfortunately it defaults to listing authors in alphabetical order. We cannot fix this for this online schedule, but the author orders are posted in the order submitted in the printed program available via pdf here.
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Friday, March 6 • 10:45am - 12:00pm
Acts of Political Warfare: Black Women’s Mental Health & Well-Being

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Health disparities among African American females persists for several health outcomes, particularly around mental health and well-being. The race paradox in mental health further problematizes this issue of measurement, resilience mechanisms and coping strategies (Mouzon, 2013). Researchers have suggested Black females’ interactions with social structures have contributed to these phenomena (Abdou et al, 2014; Deguzman & Kulbok, 2012; Douglas, 1992; Kothari et al, 2014; Williams, 2002). Research that employs theoretical and empirical work from the humanities, social sciences and public health to explain mechanisms of psychosocial and environmental stressors contributing to health inequality, is integral to advancing Black women’s health. Because Black women have been forced to prioritize either their gender or race in the ongoing quest for social equality in the United States, and historically have had minimal agency over their bodies, an intersectional feminist approach towards mental health research represents an interpretive framework in which to better understand Black women’s health with respect to race, class, gender, citizenship and geography. Audre Lorde’s seminal quote on the necessity of self-care as an act of political warfare for Black women living in America (1988) is the motivation for this presentation. This interactive presentation will a) briefly describe the mechanism in which Black women engage in the health industrial complex, including health and body politics, as well as how the amelioration of Black midwives/nurses in Black communities’ have contributed to Black women’s poor health today; and b) interrogate intersectional perspectives to discuss Black women’s agency in organizing around health, or acts of political warfare. This approach acknowledges the complete health and well-being of Black women, not merely their reproductive health, which has traditionally been the focus.

Friday March 6, 2015 10:45am - 12:00pm