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The Legacy Continues

AADA carries the torch lit by NHIW (National Health Improvement Week) and Negro History Week. 

  • Legacy: The board of AADA sees the founding of AADA as an extension of the movements represented by NHIW and Negro History Week.

  • Focus on Racial Equality: The AADA actively connects its mission to the ongoing fight for racial equality within healthcare.

  • Acknowledging Pioneers: Booker T. Washington and NHIW are recognized as important figures in this struggle for health equity.


AADA's approach:

  • Civic Engagement: AADA engages with marginalized communities who face barriers to participation in public health.

  • Empowerment: AADA's work aims to ensure Black people and communities have the power to shape policies and institutions affecting their health.

AADA is a Black organization and like pioneers Booker T. Washington and NHIW, we are dedicated to dismantling racial barriers in healthcare and empowering our own Black communities to have a say in our own health outcomes.

The Full Story


As a new and emerging national nonprofit organization, the African American Diabetes Association (AADA) announced our arrival during Black History Month, a powerful moment in Black American history to highlight our formation and mission. Emerging amidst the global pandemic underscored the urgency of our work – addressing the longstanding health disparities faced by Black communities across America. The AADA draws inspiration from the rich history of Black resistance in healthcare, including figures like Booker T. Washington and the countless movements that have fought for health equity. 


The founding of the African American Diabetes Association (AADA) coincides with a long tradition of Black Americans establishing health organizations to address the specific needs of our communities. This legacy stretches back to figures like Booker T. Washington (1856-1915), the founder of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, understood the connection between poverty and the poor health status and high mortality rates of blacks, who in the early 20th century lived primarily in the rural South.


He believed that economic progress was linked to improving the conditions in which blacks lived, including better sanitation, housing, and access to health care.    

In 1915, shortly before his death, Washington launched the National Health Improvement Week, which later became known as National Negro Health Week.  The Tuskegee oversight committee issued annual goals and activities that were used by black communities across the country.


The AADA, while not directly related to NHIW, certainly builds upon the legacy of fighting for health equity for all. The fight for racial equality in healthcare continues to this day, and the work of Booker T. Washington and the NHIW is an important part of that history.

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