Two New Health and Wellness Resources to Support Communities of Color in Arizona

March 10, 2022

The Dunbar Wellness Project is a collaboration between the Dunbar Coalition, El Rio Health Center, the Coalition for African American Health and Wellness, and the UA Center for Regional Food Studies. In 2019, the Dunbar Pavilion, along with its collaborative partners, received a seed grant from the Agnese Nelms Haury Foundation to design, implement, and evaluate a two-year health and wellness education project and to create spaces that center Black health and wellness.

Educational and hands-on workshops and symposiums were offered free to the Tucson Community 2 to 3 times per month in 2019, and transitioned into virtual programming for the 2020-2021 year. Topics included: racial justice, reproductive justice, grief, herbal and plant medicine making, supporting Black local creatives, and a BIPOC book club. The Haury seed grant also funded the creation of two projects: 

  • an online resource known as the Arizona Black Health Directory developed by The Dunbar Pavilion and the Coalition for African American Health and Wellness. This directory is designed to connect community members in Arizona to Black health and wellness medical and non-medical practitioners and resources. As of 2019, less than 5% of Arizona residents identified as Black. This means that in the state of Arizona, Black people not only struggle to find Black community and culture, but we/they also struggle to find medical providers and non-medical practitioners who share our/their identity.
  • The Dunbar Pavilion Plant Guide: in partnership with the University of Arizona’s Associate Professor, Dr. Patricia Gonzales, the guide was created to provide a written inventory of the native plants growing on the Dunbar property and garden space, and to describe their medicinal uses. The goal is that this guide be used as a means to increase knowledge and agency among people of color, and to share ancestral modes of mental, physical, and spiritual healing to support nourishing and life-affirming practices. 

We hope these resources continue to benefit communities of color in Arizona and beyond.