Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness: Harnessing the power of partnerships
The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness (FBWW) is a leading voice for Black women and families in Dane County and beyond. It was established in 2012, with a vision to transform the lives and health of Black women through education, advocacy, support, and powerful partnerships.
Led by Lisa Peyton-Caire, MS.ED., founder, president and CEO, the FBWW is working to eliminate the health disparities impacting Black women in Wisconsin, where Black birth disparities and racial health disparities are among the worst in the nation.
In 2018, the FBBW received its first-ever multi-year grant. The four-year, $300,000 grant from the Wisconsin Partnership Program enabled the foundation to operationalize its mission and increase its organizational capacity. The FBWW used the funding to build its staff from one to 15; serve the immediate health needs of Black women; and strengthen collaborations with community partners, private organizations and public agencies including philanthropy, health systems, and government, as well as connect community systems and Black women.
“Over the past four years we have mobilized the strategies we envisioned around our most critical work and have taken our conversation around Black women’s health from a whisper to a movement,” said Peyton-Caire.
The grant also supported one of the FBWW’s central priorities: to create and launch a Community Health Worker (CHW) program to serve Black women and families across Dane County, focusing on families residing in the area’s highest need zip codes.
The CHWs work closely with community members to meet a wide range of needs and health factors that are driving poor health outcomes. The CHWs help women navigate resources, provide crisis support, connect women to health care, and assist with securing housing, childcare, and transportation.
The FBWW continues to ensure that Black women are shaping the policies and practices that impact their lives. The annual Black Women’s Wellness Day, local and national public speaking engagements, publications, additional funding from WPP and others, and new partnerships are just a few of the Foundation’s many activities and accomplishments.
Since its initial funding from WPP, the Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness successfully competed for a five-year Community Impact Grant from the Wisconsin Partnership Program to launch the Well Black Woman Institute, an innovative leadership development program to train fellows as leaders in community building and health equity. The Institute harnesses the talent and experience of Black women and provides them with the tools and training to become systems change leaders who can inform and promote policies and solutions to change how Black women experience health and well-being.
“Our goal is to move Wisconsin from worst to best for Black women’s health and Black family health,” said Peyton-Caire. “Through our programs and partnerships, we are building solutions that can be replicated in communities across the state.”