Recently, author and filmmaker, Tanya Lewis Lee sat down with Ebony to discuss upcoming projects and reflect on her work in women’s health. Lee opened up about her experience as an entrepreneur and exposure to health disparities among women of color. She told the magazine that as a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health campaign A Healthy Baby Begins with You, her eyes were opened to the challenges of women’s health.
This experience, Lee says, gave her the desire to advocate for women’s health. Lee, who would later produce Crisis in the Crib: Saving our Nation’s Babies, admitted that she was surprised to learn of the disparities between Black and White women and infant mortality in the United States. Since her time with the campaign, Lee has been outspoken on women’s health issues. During the interview Lee stated, “If our babies aren’t well, our women aren’t well, and if our women aren’t well then that means our communities aren’t well.”
Lee’s experience with A Health Baby Begins with You and subsequent Preconception Peer Educator Program is still influential in her current efforts. Lee’s activities include promoting multivitamin use, encouraging honest discussion on women’s health and providing resources to assist women lead a healthy lifestyle. And she doesn’t only preach it, she practices.
“I want to be working until I’m 95 years old in some way,” Lee said. “I want to be engaged, active, and able to move, feel good, and contribute. I know in order to do that I’ve got to take care of my body. So, for me it’s really about taking care of my physical, mental, and spiritual well-being to carry me through my life, so I can do all the things I want to accomplish.”
Lewis went on to state that she’d be interested in hosting community events where women can discuss barriers to health in an open forum. She is available on Twitter @TLewisLee and her blog www.healthyyounow.com features recipes, exercise tips and news on women’s health. The full interview is available online at ebony.com.