The Black Girls and Women Matter Town Hall, Greensboro

“Without community there is no liberation” Audre Lorde

With community engagement a cornerstone of UNCG’s mission, Department of Public Health Education alumna and faculty member Ms. Christina Yongue, recently helped  host the “Black Girls and Women Matter” town hall at Greensboro’s James B. Dudley High School.  Ms. Yongue worked alongside dedicated community activists and scholars to make the town hall a reality including alumnae April Parker, BS (UNCG Class of 2013), Jasmine Getrouw-Moore, BS (UNCG Class of 2008), MPA, and Dawn Hicks Tafari, Ph.D. (UNCG Class of 2013).

The town hall meeting was supported by the African American Policy Forum (AAPF). The AAPF is a national think-tank that aims to promote frameworks and strategies addressing a vision of racial justice.  The AAFP works to address the intersections of race, gender, and class, and the barriers that dis-empower marginalized populations.

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The panel at the Black Girls and Women Matter Town Hall Event. Photos courtesy of Charles Media Photography.

The mission of the Greensboro Black Girls and Women Matter Town Hall was to serve as an opportunity for black girls and women to share their stories of being at risk so that they can call on Greensboro community and political leaders, as well as support systems in an effort to better support them as they seek to heal their community.  The town hall consisted of panel discussions focusing on the “Push Out of Black Girls from the School System” and “Employment Discrimination and Health Care Access in the Queer Community” as well as a spoken word performance.

“This event was historic, because as far as I know, there hasn’t been a city-wide conversation on black women and girls issues, nor black women and girls transgender issues in Greensboro,” Yongue states.  “We were fortunate to have in attendance a local Greensboro county commissioner, a City Councilwoman, female pastors, non-profit leaders, and other community organizers.”

Also in attendance were  Public Health Education undergraduate students in a Race, Ethnicity, and Health class.  This “opened a door for them to hear about how to volunteer in the community,” Yongue continues, “Exposure is the important part.”

The Town Hall campaign has not ended yet.  The committee has continued the conversation with a Community De-Briefing Meeting.  This event was held on Thursday Feb. 24, 2017 at 6PM.  “We want to continue to carry these conversations,” Yongue says.