April 3, 2008

Breathing Life into Ourselves: Personal Stories as Research

4:30-6:00 p.m. (reception at 4:00p.m.)

Ruth Dill Johnson Crockett Building

162 Ryders Lane, Douglass Campus

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey


About the Speaker

Founder of The Avery Institute for Social Change and the Black Women’s Health Imperative (formerly the National Black Women’s Health Project), Byllye Y. Avery has been a health care activist for over 25 years focusing on women’s needs. The Black Women’s Health Imperative is committed to defining, promoting and maintaining the physical, mental and emotional well-being of Black women. As executive director (1982–90), Avery oversaw the organization’s growth to an international network of more than 2,000 participants in 22 states and 6 foreign countries, producing not only the first Center for Black Women's Wellness but also the first documentary film by African American women exploring their perspectives on sexuality and reproduction.

About the Lecture

For the past 25 years Black women have been engaged in telling the stories of their lives, their struggles and triumphs as part of the Black women's health movement. These stories are liberating for the women who tell them as well as the women who listen.  The process of sharing personal stories, some obviously related to women's health, some less so, allows women to become active proponents of their own health.  Active listening to such stories develops awareness of shared experiences and helps to suggest answers for addressing health and social issues. It also provides information for conducting research and understanding the power of acceptance and self esteem in self care and self healing.