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An Arc Towards Greater Inclusion and Sense of Belonging

Pride Month 2023

As this year’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex (LGBTQI+) Pride Month comes to a close, I can’t help but reflect on my experience as a federal employee who is part of the LGBTQI+ community and the public health scientific and practice accomplishments that CDC LGBTQI+ employees have attained. Prior to accepting a position at CDC over twenty years ago, I would not have thought that a governmental agency, even the premier US public health organization, would address issues impacting LGBTQI+ populations in its scientific and programmatic efforts as prominently as it has in recent years. Of course, there are legitimate reasons to have been concerned about its ability to do so

Read more about LGBTQI+ inclusion at CDC in the latest Conversations in Equity blog post.

Learning through the Lived Experience: Recognizing the Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

person in wheelchair next to stairs

In 2023, we celebrate the 33rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and use this opportunity to pause and acknowledge where we are with meeting its initial intent. Part of recognizing the ADA and assessing the progress that has been made since it was enacted is to listen and learn from the varied lived experiences among people with disabilities. CDC’s Chief Disability Officer, Shannon Griffin-Blake, PhD, MA, shares some of her ongoing discussions with CDC colleagues and disability partners to explore their realities and understand the evolving needs of people with disabilities, including addressing ableist attitudes that spread false and negative views about disability.

Read more about the varied experiences within the disability community and how you can build upon the legacy of the ADA.

National Minority Health Month: Better Health Through Better Understanding

diverse group of women discussing information on a laptop

Health literacy promotes health equity by making life-saving health information accessible to all populations. Healthcare systems, public health organizations, and the people they employ have a responsibility to make their information easy for all their audiences to find, understand, and use. In Healthy People 2030, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) indicates that limited personal health literacy is a social risk, one associated with worse health care and health outcomes. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, people with limited health literacy are more likely to identify themselves as members of racial or ethnic minority groups. CDC has indicated that these populations are disproportionately affected by systemic and structural factors.

CDC recognizes the cross-cutting functions of health equity and health literacy. To better communicate with populations with low health literacy, CDC is creating and testing information-development tools, conducting workforce training in plain language and clear communication, and developing collaboration processes where the agency’s scientists and health communicators work together from the beginning of product development.

Learn more about how health literacy is connected to health equity.

Women’s Unseen Battle: Shining a Light on Lupus

May is Lupus awareness month

Some people call lupus an “invisible illness” because it is often not recognizable to others. CDC and partners are working to make lupus visible by raising awareness about this disease.

Lupus is a lifelong disease that can cause pain, redness, and swelling in any part of the body. Researchers estimate that 200,0001 Americans have systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the most common form of lupus. Anyone can develop lupus, but 90% of lupus diagnoses are in women aged 15-44 years.

Learn more about lupus among women and how to share this information in your community.

Celebrating Women’s Health Week!

women jogging

National Women’s Health Week starts each year on Mother’s Day. This health observance encourages women and girls to make their health a priority.

Taking care of yourself includes caring for your physical, mental, social, and emotional health. There’s a lot that you can do – from practicing healthy habits to making and keeping all health care appointments. Practice healthy behaviors to get the care you need.

Learn more about how you can help live a healthy lifestyle.

Prioritizing Minority Mental Health

Black man in therapy

CDC observes National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month each July. This observance raises awareness of the challenges that affect the mental health of racial and ethnic minority groups. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, act, handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is just as important as physical health throughout our lives.

Many people from racial and ethnic minority groups have difficulty getting mental health care. Everyone benefits when people from racial and ethnic minority groups can thrive. We all have a role to play in promoting health equity. Mental health equity is the state in which everyone has a fair and just opportunity to reach their highest level of mental health and emotional well-being.

Learn more about how we all can work together for mental health equity.