Every February, we remember, learn, reflect upon, and celebrate Black history. This Black History Month, SimpliHere would like to specifically highlight Black groups and individuals making a difference in the neuroscience and neurodegenerative disease community that ALS is a part of.
1. African Ancestry Neuroscience Research Initiative
The nation’s first African Ancestry Neuroscience Research Initiative was established by the Lieber Institute for Brain Development and African-American community leaders in Baltimore, Maryland in 2019. The aim of the initiative is to “establish a road map to help close the gap in health disparities and accelerate research efforts that will lead to new treatments for brain disorders.” Minority groups, especially those groups of African ancestry, are grossly underrepresented in study and clinical trial groups, and this initiative wants to change that. While the initiative is working to secure national funding, donations are always welcome. To learn more, visit their website.
2. Black in Neuro
In late 2020, Black in Neuro hosted the first-ever Black in Neuro virtual, week-long conference for Black people in the neuroscience industry. The conference was a confluence of resources that included workshops, keynote presentations, panels, mixers, and more, all of which celebrated Black excellence in the neuroscience fields. The organization continues to provide resources to students in order to close the gaps and highlight Black stories. For more information about the conference and the Ph.D. candidate, Angeline Dukes, who kickstarted and organized the conference, click here. If you are interested in learning more about the organization, see the Black in Neuro website.
3. TaLisha Grzyb
@misstalisha on Instagram, TaLisha Grzyb is a mom of three boys (including a set of twins), a wife, a YouTuber, 2020’s Ms.Wheelchair Delaware, and a prolific children’s author. She also has Muscular Dystrophy and is a wheelchair user. “Rolling Through Life with Mommy” is TaLisha’s series of children’s books, and this month, TaLisha released her latest–Rolling Through Life with Mommy: Black Lives Matter. This book is a great guide and resource to talking with children both about disability and about race, and TaLisha is always an inspiration!
Do you know of other organizations or individuals celebrating Black achievement in neuroscience? We would love to hear and highlight them! Let us know in the comments below. Happy Black History Month!
SimpliHere simplifies caregiving for those impacted by ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases. Through a mobile app and personal voice assistant, patients and caregivers can easily communicate, manage daily life, and stay connected with one another. The mission of SimpliHere is to help patients and families face the overwhelming nature of ALS by helping them to communicate basic needs, easily reach caregivers, and find comfort with other individuals sharing the same challenges. SimpliHere encourages patients and families to raise their voices and contribute valuable information to medical communities to help advance critical research on neurodegenerative diseases, including ALS – with the ultimate goal of wiping out the disease once and for all.
Melinda Mayden is a content writer who works in digital marketing and who enjoys writing to keep people both informed and entertained.