Exploring the Politics and Radical Health Activism Strategies of Black-Led Grassroots Organizations in Washington, D.C.

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Black communities in Washington, DC have long experienced health inequities due to a history of inequitable social policies and inadequate access to health-related resources (Jackson, 2017). Critical, academic scholars and social justice activists implicate the political economy and racial oppression as a root cause of health inequities in the country. Black grassroots organizations demonstrate a history of political and social resistance to oppressive health and social systems, defending their right to health and autonomy, known as radical health activism (Nelson, 2011). Despite rich accounts of Black-led health interventions, their contributions to public health practice and frameworks have not been widely reviewed in public health discourse. Using informant interviews and descriptive study analysis, the health politics and subsequent health intervention strategies of Black grassroots organizations in Washington, D.C were examined. The 3 core themes that emerged from this study were health politics, radical health intervention strategies, and successes and challenges.