Health Equity

April 2, 2024

National Minority Health Month 2024

Be the Source for Better Health: Improving Health Outcomes Through Our Cultures, Communities, and Connections

April is National Minority Health Month! This annual observance builds awareness about the health disparities that persist among racial and ethnic minority and American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations and encourages everyone to take action to end these inequities.

This year's theme, Be the Source for Better Health: Improving Health Outcomes Through Our Cultures, Communities, and Connections, is about understanding how the unique environments, cultures, histories, and circumstances (known as social determinants of health, or SDOH) of racial and ethnic minority and AI/AN populations impact their overall health.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) is committed to working with public health and community-based partners to Be the Source for Better Health by providing quality, equitable, and respectful care and services that are responsive to diverse cultural health beliefs and practices, preferred languages, economic and environmental circumstances, and health literacy levels. When patients are provided with culturally and linguistically appropriate information, they are better able to create healthier outcomes for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Learn more:

National Minority Health Month 2024

November 1, 2023

November is Native American Heritage Month

October 2, 2023

Hispanic Heritage Month: September 15 – October 15

September 15, 2023

September is National Recovery Month

June 12, 2023

Join the Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 17th!

June 2, 2023

June is PRIDE Month

May 5, 2023

Celebrate Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2023

April 11, 2023

April is National Minority Health Month

March 6, 2023

March is Women's History Month

November 16, 2022

November is Native American Heritage Month

Native American Heritage Month, observed every November in the United States, celebrates the rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories of American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN).

September 20, 2022

Hispanic Heritage Month: September 15 – October 15

Hispanic Heritage Month is observed each year from September 15 to October 15. This year’s theme, “Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation,” encourages us to ensure that all voices are represented and welcomed to help build stronger communities and a stronger nation. During Hispanic Heritage Month, OMH will partner with other federal offices and stakeholders to disseminate and amplify bilingual educational messages about disease prevention and health promotion.

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September 7, 2022

September is National Recovery Month

Recovery Month celebrates the gains made by those in recovery from substance use and mental health, just as we celebrate improvements made by those who are managing other health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease. Each September, Recovery Month works to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the emergence of a strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and community members across the nation who make recovery in all its forms possible.

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July 18, 2022

July is BIPOC Mental Health Month

Formally recognized in June 2008, Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month was created to bring awareness to the unique struggles that underrepresented groups face in regard to mental illness in the United States. Bebe Moore Campbell was an American author, journalist, teacher, and mental health advocate who worked tirelessly to shed light on the mental health needs of the Black community and other underrepresented communities.

National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month is observed each July to bring awareness to the unique struggles that racial and ethnic minority communities face regarding mental illness in the United States. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it harder for racial and ethnic minority groups to get access to mental health and substance-use treatment services.

Learn more:

Mental Health America (MHA)

HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH)

June 6, 2022

June is Pride Month!

June 6, 2022

Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 18th!

Join the Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 18th!

The Juneteenth Celebration, presented by the Juneteenth Committee of Ventura County (JCVC), is taking place on Saturday, June 18 at Plaza Park in Oxnard. This holiday commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in the US. The holiday was first celebrated in Texas, where on that date in 1865, in the aftermath of the Civil War, slaves were declared free under the terms of the 1862 Emancipation Proclamation.

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March 7, 2022

March is Women's History Month

Women’s History Month is a celebration of women’s contributions to history, culture and society and has been observed annually in the month of March in the United States since 1987.

The actual celebration of Women’s History Month grew out of a weeklong celebration of women’s contributions to culture, history and society organized by the school district of Sonoma California in 1978. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued the first presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 8 as National Women’s History Week. The U.S. Congress followed the next year, passing a resolution establishing a national celebration. Six years later, the National Women’s History Project successfully petitioned Congress to expand the event to the entire month of March.

Women's History Month Theme

The National Women’s History Alliance designates a yearly theme for Women's History Month. The 2022 theme is "Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope." This theme is "both a tribute to the ceaseless work of caregivers and frontline workers during this ongoing pandemic and also a recognition of the thousands of ways that women of all cultures have provided both healing and hope throughout history."

Learn more:

Women's History Month 2022

A Proclamation on Women’s History Month, 2022, The White House

November 10, 2021

Native American Heritage Month

Native American Heritage Month celebrates the rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and history and acknowledges the important contributions of American Indians and Alaska Natives in the United States. Throughout November, OMH will focus on raising awareness about the health disparities impacting the American Indian/Alaska Native community and highlight the importance of staying healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted American Indian/Alaska Native populations across the country, with infection rates over 3.5 times higher than non-Hispanic whites. Additionally, American Indian/Alaska Native communities are more likely to develop chronic health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and have a higher prevalence of obesity. These underlying health conditions can put people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

To help reduce the complications associated with these health disparities, OMH is working with other federal partners to create awareness of the importance of managing these health conditions during these uncertain times and promote better health for American Indian/Alaska Native populations.

Learn More

Office of Minority Health

August 30, 2021

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Spread Hope

“We can all help prevent suicide…All month, mental health advocates, prevention organizations, survivors, allies, and community members unite to promote suicide prevention awareness.”

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month — a time to raise awareness on this stigmatized, and often taboo, topic. In addition to shifting public perception, we use this month to spread hope and vital information to people affected by suicide. Our goal is ensuring that individuals, friends and families have access to the resources they need to discuss suicide prevention and to seek help.

Learn more:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

For suicide prevention resources: www.WellnessEveryDay.org

June 16, 2021

Featured Campaign: Vaping Historietas‍

See our latest campaign about the risks of secondhand vaping. We developed this campaign to address the health risks related to vaping and how it can affect others. The historieta format shares the information through engaging short stories and highlights how vaping can affect children and other family members. The goal is to increase awareness that can lead to a safer home environment, especially for children who may be most vulnerable.

Learn more:

Secondhand Vaping Historietas

English videos: www.vapingfactcheckvc.org

Spanish videos: www.vapeoverificado.org

April 29, 2021

FDA Commits to Evidence-Based Actions Aimed at Saving Lives and Preventing Future Generations of Smokers

Efforts to ban menthol cigarettes, ban flavored cigars build on previous flavor ban and mark significant steps to reduce addiction and youth experimentation, improve quitting, and address health disparities.


April 29, 2021

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced it is committing to advancing two tobacco product standards to significantly reduce disease and death from using combusted tobacco products, the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. The FDA is working toward issuing proposed product standards within the next year to ban menthol as a characterizing flavor in cigarettes and ban all characterizing flavors (including menthol) in cigars; the authority to adopt product standards is one of the most powerful tobacco regulatory tools Congress gave the agency. This decision is based on clear science and evidence establishing the addictiveness and harm of these products and builds on important, previous actions that banned other flavored cigarettes in 2009.

“Banning menthol—the last allowable flavor—in cigarettes and banning all flavors in cigars will help save lives, particularly among those disproportionately affected by these deadly products. With these actions, the FDA will help significantly reduce youth initiation, increase the chances of smoking cessation among current smokers, and address health disparities experienced by communities of color, low-income populations, and LGBTQ+ individuals, all of whom are far more likely to use these tobacco products,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. “Together, these actions represent powerful, science-based approaches that will have an extraordinary public health impact. Armed with strong scientific evidence, and with full support from the Administration, we believe these actions will launch us on a trajectory toward ending tobacco-related disease and death in the U.S.”

“For far too long, certain populations, including African Americans, have been targeted, and disproportionately impacted by tobacco use. Despite the tremendous progress we’ve made in getting people to stop smoking over the past 55 years, that progress hasn’t been experienced by everyone equally,” said Mitch Zeller, J.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products. “These flavor standards would reduce cigarette and cigar initiation and use, reduce health disparities, and promote health equity by addressing a significant and disparate source of harm. Taken together, these policies will help save lives and improve the public health of our country as we confront the leading cause of preventable disease and death.”

Read the news release

March 9, 2021

Featured Partner: BRITE Connections

Expressions of Gender: Creating Safe Spaces for Youth

BRITE (Building Resilience & Inclusion Through Engagement) engages and educates Ventura County’s youth on prevention and wellness topics. BRITE Connections, a free monthly livestream series open to youth ages 14+, brings together youth and adult experts in discussion on important issues. Expressions of Gender was the first BRITE Connections livestream event of 2021 and was held on January 28th. The event featured a performance of youth poetry and music titled “Stereotypes” and an expert panel of caring adults discussing gender expression and LGBTQ+ equity in schools within a Q&A format.

The event raised awareness about the negative effects on youth who feel excluded by and unable to express their gender identity due to the traditional binary views of gender roles and stereotypes that exist at home and at school. Youth that identify within this group are at an increased risk for many negative behavioral health outcomes including depression, suicide, and drug use. The event focused discussion on ways that teachers and parents can help support youth within this group.

Learn more:

BRITE Connections - Expressions of Gender livestream event

View event

October 21, 2020

PhotoVoice Oxnard

Exploring Racism as a Social Determinant of Health

BRITE (Building Resilience & Inclusion Through Engagement), a long-time contract provider with Substance Use Services – Prevention, is proud to share one of their projects, PhotoVoice Oxnard.  Over the past year, BRITE has been working on this project which explores racism as a social determinant of health.  

PhotoVoice is a visual research method that uses photography to capture issues of concern as a means for communication and stimulating social change. Through PhotoVoice, teens can become more engaged in their community and develop an ability to advocate for the changes that they want to see.

"Our experience living in our community allows us to provide evidence that shapes policy on gender, racial equity, behavioral health, and overall wellness. One powerful role we have as community members is sharing our stories on how our social environment affects our health and well-being."

Participants spoke to City Council members about their issues of concerns and their suggestions for change.

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