INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – On February 10th, as the celebration of Black History Month is underway in the United States, T1International is launching the Communities of Color campaign. This campaign aims to highlight the need for better representation and genuine inclusion of people of color (PoC) within the diabetes community and to encourage participation and inclusion of PoC in the #insulin4all movement fighting for access to affordable insulin and diabetes care.
During T1International’s September 2019 workshop in Indianapolis, #insulin4all advocate Kylene Redmond hosted a panel discussion on the challenges and frustrations of being a person of color with diabetes. The panel highlighted the need for further discussion of these issues, and to that end, T1International formed a working group consisting of women from the panel and other PoC involved with T1International and the #insulin4all movement to strategize on how to continue this crucial dialogue. The Communities of Color campaign is the result of the efforts of the working group, who contributed ideas and planning for the campaign.
Additional aims of the Communities of Color Campaign include providing education to both PoC and the wider diabetes community to address unique obstacles faced by PoC with all types of diabetes. T1International sees this campaign not as a single moment, but as a launch point in an ongoing effort to include and involve PoC through continued outreach and activities.
‘‘The Communities of Color Campaign is needed because diabetes isn’t one size fits all. PoC are affected by diabetes as well and deserve to be included,’’ said Redmond, who has also served as a T1International Chapter Leader, about the campaign.
Elizabeth Pfiester, T1International Founder and Executive Director, said about the campaign, ‘‘We are all too aware that the diabetes online community is often dominated by white voices, with a lack of perspectives from people of color, despite the fact that PoC are often tackling their own unique challenges and facing more barriers to access and affordability. T1International will continue to listen, learn, and grow to ensure that as many perspectives as possible are represented, heard and valued.’’
In addition to sharing stories on the Communities of Color web page, T1International plans to facilitate a Twitter Chat with Redmond (known as @blackdiabeticgirl on Instagram). T1International will also invite PoC to submit blog entries based on their experiences living with diabetes and carry out Instagram account takeovers by other members of the working group who can share their perspective and field questions.
Perhaps most importantly, T1International has created a new Chapter Volunteer Role, the Communities of Colour Outreach Lead, to be held by a person of color, with the aim of building engagement and inclusion of PoC within the T1International #insulin4all Chapters network. We are excited to have developed this role in collaboration with many of our longstanding Chapter Leaders and members.
‘‘This campaign is something I've never seen in almost 20 years of living with type 1 diabetes. I'm excited about the impact it will make not only during Black History Month but going forward! I am so honored to be part of it,’’ said Sa’Ra Skipper, a member of the CoC working group.
Visit the Communities of Color Campaign page to see more at: t1international.com/CoC