Women of Color Living in the Virgin Islands: Path to Health Justice Initiative

Receiving the $125,000 two year grant from the Ford Foundation was significant to launching the Women of Color Living in the Virgin Islands: Path to Health Justice Initiative (WOC.VI). For four years, a series of dynamic and progressive activities aimed at reconnecting women, especially women of color, with their ability to make change happen.

Community education and public awareness; leadership skills development; empowerment; advocacy for system change; and community mobilization were the specific activities employed during the Initiative. WOC.VI participants "explored innovative advocacy solutions for women of color led community based organizations working on sexual and reproductive health/rights issues within a broader human rights and social justice framework".

Given the direct link between infant mortality and lack of health insurance and delayed entry into prenatal care among the women, VIPI seized the opportunity to redress the restrictive Medicaid policy imposed in the U.S. Virgin Islands which impact how women seek and obtain prenatal services. Along with expanding VIPI’s network of partners, it strengthened the collaboration to facilitate the community-wide systems’ change effort. WOC.VI is a testament to the power of community, power of process and power of voice.

Read more in this newspaper article…

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