We are proud to welcome Ja’Nell Henry to the CCPH team! Based in Durham, NC, Ja’Nell holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Language and Literature from Guilford College and brings experience in quality improvement, reproductive justice, and community engagement. She will be supporting the RADx-UP team as Program Assistant.

We asked her a few questions about her work and what brings her to CCPH. 

What made you decide to join CCPH?

After being connected to the organization by a trusted community partner, learning about the mission, attending a webinar facilitated by Al, and interviewing with the amazing staff, making the decision to join CCPH was an easy one. It can be challenging to find an organization that centers health equity, partnerships, and social justice as a way to impact sustainable changes in communities. CCPH does that not only in theory but in practice.

Tell us about the work you’ll be doing to support RADx-UP and CCPH. 

Thank you for the warm welcome! I am excited to join CCPH to support the RADx-UP team and COVID-19 initiatives. In my role, I will provide project coordination and administrative support to ensure program processes are streamlined and goals are efficiently met. I look forward to working with the team to continue to strengthen CCPH’s impact across the US. 

You are actively engaged in several community projects. What inspires you to work with the Durham Black Farmers’ Market and Black August in the Park? 

Yes, I am a proud co-founder of both the Black Farmers’ Market and Black August in the Park. This work is no easy task to coordinate, but it is worth the time and energy spent to provide spaces for the local Black community. Seeing people experience uninterrupted Black joy, listening to success stories, providing opportunities for Black entrepreneurs and farmers to support their businesses, and strengthening the legacy that I will leave behind inspires me to continue volunteering to do this work. Through our first full market season in 2020, the Black Farmers’ Market expanded to Raleigh, North Carolina, and provided a consistent marketplace that helped market members bring in over $200,000 in sales over four months. We wrap up this season in November and can’t wait to see what the 2022 season has in store for the community.

You have a passion for asset-based community development – what does that mean and how does it connect to public health?

One of our slogans for Black August in the Park is “we have all we need to be free”. I wholeheartedly believe that communities have the skills, knowledge, and the spirit of collective impact to create and sustain systemic change. Add that with resources, communities can lead lives that fit their needs, not the idealistic goals of others. When we as public health professionals lead with this lens, health equity and social justice can thrive.