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Dr. Yanique Redwood

Game Changer: The Blog of the Consumer Health Foundation

A blog dedicated to ideas, public policies, and the work of our non-profit partners that are game changing.

— by Dr. Yanique Redwood, President and CEO

Black Lives Matter

9 February 2015

I have been sitting on the sidelines of the debate about whether #blacklivesmatter or #alllivesmatter.  Whenever there is a discussion that requires me or anyone else to defend the humanity of black people, I refuse to participate. Do black people really want to work or not? Can black people achieve academically or not? Do our lives matter or not? Just the question alone leads me to believe that there is some doubt on both sides of the debate. Why should I have to prove my humanity? So, I simply refuse to participate in that line of questioning. And, I won’t make arguments for or against.

Facing Race

17 November 2014

I just returned from Facing Race, the largest conference in the United States that joins together people working towards racial justice and its intersections with other identities such as gender, sexuality, immigration status, and disability. I can’t imagine another place where I might discuss with a white man how the natural hair movement affirms my identity as an African-American woman and he refer me to Linda Jones, a colleague of his and founder of A Nappy Hair Affair, a website that was promoting natural hair when it wasn’t en vogue. Where else would I get the opportunity to then thank her in person for helping to start a movement that has been critical to the formation of my and my daughter’s identities in ways that she cannot fully comprehend? There were countless special moments like these and key takeaways that I think are worth sharing:

Work and Health

15 August 2014

I am grateful to have met Bruno Avila. He is a restaurant worker who recently visited with members of our Board of Trustees to share reflections on the link between health and the low-wage work environment. Sitting around a conference room table, wearing headsets to ensure our understanding of Mr. Avila’s story as he speaks Spanish, we listened as he started with wage theft and the heavy toll it exacted on his family.

Circle of Human Concern

21 April 2014

The Consumer Health Foundation hosted its annual meeting last month on the topic of implicit bias. The audience of 150 grantee, foundation, and other partners were treated to dynamic talks by john powell (Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society), Carlee Beth Hawkins (Project Implicit), and Brian Smedley (The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies). There was so much that was interesting, but it was this statement by john powell that keeps me up at night and gets me up every morning: “We cannot create good public policy for people outside of the circle of human concern.”

The Danger of a Single Story

18 March 2014

In a previous blog, I recounted a conversation on a recent flight concerning the Foundation’s interest in investing in low-income communities of color. This resulted in my seatmate expressing immediate concern about crime. In response to that blog, I received a generally supportive comment from a reader who pointed out that crime should be a legitimate issue of concern. I agreed with her but offered a counterpoint: Crime is not the only story, nor do I believe it is the primary one.

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