The Black Students United of California (BSCU) is building a network of Health Ambassador-Advocates (HA-A) to focus on one of the top concerns of African Americans statewide, health and well-being.
Both Mental and Physical Health Maintenance Habits and Practices Training are a part of BSCU’s overall program of youth and student development and is aligned with BSCU’s organizational values focused on self-determination and interdependence. To that end, BSCU’s HA-A’s will go through an approved training course about general health and well-being, the social determinants of health in California’s African American community, leading health issues affecting African Americans (including type 2 diabetes), positive health and well-being practices to combat those leading health issues and education/training related to health advocacy in both policy and practice in communities and statewide.
Training and education of BSCU’s HA-A’s will commence at the annual conference and rally at the State Capitol and continue at BSCU chapter meetings statewide, via BSCU’s webpage / online portal and at its Spring Institute and Black Minds Matter Competition. Training and education will be conducted via workshop, webinars, online postings and through BSCU’s annual mock legislative debate (2016’s debate focused on Senate Bill 203 – Tax on Sugar Sweetened Beverages). The mock debate provides students with first-hand knowledge of the state’s 80 Assembly and 40 Senatorial districts and the statewide legislative process including Legislative Health Committee Analysis. This session and the course of education and training mentioned above will prepare students to serve as HA-A’s and to participate in the student lead BSCU Senatorial District convening and debate.
The comprehensive focus of these activities is to prepare students to lead the BSCU debate on current health and well-being issues concerning African Americans in communities and at the state legislature, to construct health and well-being solutions that positively affect California’s African American community and to serve as advocates in their communities and throughout the state to promote the cause of healthy Black people and healthy Black families in California.