By OBSERVER Newsroom

The California Black Health Network has landed a major success in declaring May 1-5 this year and every first week of May thereafter as Black Health Equity Advocacy Week statewide.

This comes after Assemblymember Dr. Akilah Weber (D-San Diego), unanimously supported by the California Legislative Black Caucus, introduced ACR-53, a resolution that establishes a statewide focus on the need to address the health disparities gap for Black Californians. The resolution also commends CBHN for its efforts to improve the health, well-being and life expectancy of Black Californians.

 “The life expectancy at birth for Black Californians is 76.2 years of age, which is five years shorter than the state average and the lowest life expectancy of all racial and ethnic groups in California,” Dr. Weber said. “This disparity is a stark reminder of the systemic and institutional factors that contribute to health inequities in communities of color. Addressing these disparities requires intentional efforts to provide access to quality, equitable health care, address social determinants of health, and dismantle structural racism in all its forms.”

In 2021, CBHN launched the Campaign for Black Health Equity, a multiyear initiative that aims to decrease health disparities and improve the life expectancy of Black Californians. The resolution will help amplify CBHN’s campaign efforts across the state. 

The resolution is also very significant for CBHN, as the organization celebrates its 40th anniversary Thursday, May 4, during Black Health Equity Advocacy Week. Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Gardena), vice chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus, will speak at the event and Brandi Cummings, an award-winning journalist and weekday morning anchor for KCRA 3, is the emcee.

In addition to the 40th anniversary celebration event, CBHN has several activities for Black Health Equity Advocacy Week, including a press event and a briefing on the State of Black Health in California. 

In March, CBHN launched its inaugural Health Equity Advocacy Training Program, which aims to organize, train, and empower key Black Network Members and Black Health Agenda stakeholders to amplify their collective voices and advocate for change locally communities and statewide on important issues that impede the ability to access the care, services, resources, and basic needs to live long healthy lives. During Black Health Equity Advocacy Week, HEAT Program participants will have the opportunity to put learning into action and meet with their state representatives to leverage their collective community capital to persuade decision-makers to implement policies that address health disparities for Black Californians. 

“Our goal with the HEAT Program is to cultivate a culture of power building and a statewide network of health equity advocates and activists within the Black community to impact policy change at the state and local levels,” said CBHN Executive Director Rhonda Smith.

For more information, contact