April is National Minority Health Month, and this year’s theme is “Bridging Health Equity Across Communities.”
The Office of Minority Health talked about what they are doing this month: “Throughout April, OMH will join with our partners in raising awareness about efforts across health, education, justice, housing, transportation and employment sectors to address the factors known as the social determinants of health – environmental, social and economic conditions that impact health.”
Many Running Strong programs address these social determinants of health. Here are some ways you are helping us work toward greater health equity for Native communities:
- Organic gardens & food programs: Running Strong supports organic gardening efforts in Indian Country, where grocery stores are far away and expensive, and where fresh produce is not readily available. We support community gardens, household gardens, and communal greenhouse programs that help American Indian families grow nutritious fruits and vegetables. Running Strong also provides nutritious meals with our food box and backpack food programs. These efforts help prevent diabetes and malnutrition among American Indians.
- Youth centers & programs: Running Strong works to improve the lives of American Indian youth by helping to develop youth centers that give young people healthy activities and a positive place to spend their time. We also support schools and youth centers that provide kids and teenagers with positive outlets and networks of support. These important efforts help to combat suicide, as well as alcoholism and drug use.
- Women & children’s health programs: Running strong helps empower American Indian women to achieve their reproductive health goals, heal from past hardships, and feel pride in their cultural identities. This combats disparities in infant mortality, as well as other women’s health issues.
- The culture & language programs we support, like the Euchee (Yuchi) Language Project, help Native youth learn their tribes’ languages and connect to their cultures. This fosters positive self-esteem and mental health.
- Our Dreamstarter grant program also addresses health! Billy Mills wanted to start the Dreamstarter program to address the poverty of dreams he saw among Native youth. Dreamstarter gives Native youth confidence in their dreams and helps Native youth thrive in areas like wellness, culture and education to support both physical and mental health.
You can help us address these issues!
Now is the perfect time to donate to our Organic Garden Challenge Match. We only have until Earth Day to meet our goal! Every dollar you donate will be MATCHED by a generous Running Strong donor, and go twice as hard to help Native American youth grow fresh, nutritious fruits and vegetables.
You can also become a monthly donor, to support programs addressing American Indian health needs all year long!