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2023 call for Abstracts


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Purpose State of Black Health

The State of Black Health conference, presented by The Center for Black Health and Equity, convenes and supports community leaders and equity advocates, from every background, to address the social and economic injustices that have marginalized Black communities and led to deep health disparities.


The Center for Black Health and Equity has hosted the State of Black, on either a national or regional level, since 2018. This year's theme, “Health Equity in Focus” is a salute to our host island, Puerto Rico, and signifies the Center’s mission to advocate for the health and well-being of all Black People.

Abstract Background

  • The State of Black Health features several concurrent breakout sessions. 

  • Presenters will highlight successful programs, campaigns, or advocacy efforts that have led to reasonable, clear, and transferable promising practices. 

  • All abstract submissions should review observable outcomes rather than theory-based data analyses. 

  • Preference will be given to authors who have been actively engaged in the program, campaign, or advocacy efforts presented. 

  • Presenters should be able to discuss public health implications and real-world application of the project, including community, state, and/or federal-level relevance. 

  • Ideas presented should be aspirational, dynamic, and energizing for conference attendees. 

  • Authors with previous speaking engagements will be given preference.

  • An optional video submission has been added to the submission process this year.


Abstracts are now closed


SEPTEMBER 6 - 8, 2023



Abstract Topic Areas

Abstract submissions must fall within these tracks.








Track Wellness & Chronic Disease Disparities

The Wellness & Chronic Disease Disparities track reviews corporate, community, healthcare, and governmental public health efforts that are moving the needle toward reducing HIV or other chronic disease disparities. Sessions may discuss how specific policies, community initiatives, or public health campaigns are impacting health disparities, including how they can be replicated within communities nationwide.

Subject areas may include, but are not limited to:


  • Tobacco Use 

  • Addressing breast, cervical, colorectal and/or prostate cancer screening disparities

  • Addressing new HIV infections

  • Increasing awareness and usage of PrEP

  • Reducing HIV stigma

  • Health Equity resources

  • Awareness campaigns

  • Role of the black family in fostering a culture of health

  • Mental health and mental health stigma

  • Black Maternal Health

Track Economic Barriers

The Economic Barriers track explores innovations that result in economic improvements in African American Communities. Presenters may discuss policies, programs or services designed to promote economic parity for individuals from underserved populations. Submissions may also review solutions to reduce the ever-expanding income gap, encourage entrepreneurship, increase employee productivity, promote employee health, and/or accommodate employees living with a chronic disease. Submissions for issues and solutions related to Afro-Latinx/Black Puerto Rican communities are desired, especially if there is a connection or relation to systemic issues facing all African American communities.

Subject areas may include, but are not limited to: 


  • Systematic inequality and American democracy

  • STEM/STEAM and the future of economic prosperity

  • Systemic discrimination leading to economic disenfranchisement

  • Systemic discrimination leading to health disparities

  • Understanding money, finance and entrepreneurship

  • Interference of disease, trauma, or stress on employability

  • Intersectionality of gender, race, class, and economics

  • Gentrification resulting in Black displacement

  • White supremacy resulting in Black fear/stress, job discrimination, etc.

  • Voting rights and the economic picture for voters 

  • Police brutality and the impact of black economics 

Track Institutional Injustices

The Institutional Injustices track address how systemic injustice (e.g., judicial, education, food, environmental) produces unhealthy communities and deepens health inequity. Submissions may explore the impact of local, state, and federal systemic and institutional racism on Black health. Submissions should also highlight policy initiatives and promising practices that provide resources at the state and local level to address the issues presented. Submissions for issues related to Afro-Latinx/Black Puerto Rican communities are desired, especially if there is connection or relation to systemic issues facing African Americans

Subject areas may include, but are not limited to: 


  • Elder care 

  • Catastrophic environmental events and global warming

  • COVID-19 response

  • Education

  • Food security/Food deserts

  • Clean air and green space

  • Housing and transportation issues

  • Racism as a public health emergency 

  • Police brutality/Community policing solutions

  • Sex and human trafficking

  • Gun violence and crime

  • Mass incarceration and the school-to-prison pipeline

  • Taxes, fines and fees imposed on Black Communities

  • Flavored and mentholated tobacco restrictions

  • Affordable Care Act


SEPTEMBER 6 - 8, 2023



Subcategory Choices

All submissions must identify at least one of the following subcategories:


  • Abstract addresses policies that should be supported, passed, or ended that would improve health outcomes for African Americans.

Community Action

  • Abstract addresses promising practices that communities are implementing to improve health outcomes for African Americans.

Decision Makers

  • Abstract addresses the role of decision-makers such as physicians, public health administrators, politicians, faith leaders, and employers in improving health outcomes for African Americans.

Submission Guidelines

All submissions must include these components.


  • Summarize the purpose, scope and objectives of the program, project or policy.


  • Describe the program, policy, and campaign period. Include the activities and interventions undertaken during this period that led to successful (or not so successful) outcomes.


  • Present as clearly and in as much detail as possible the outcomes of the program, policy, or campaign. Include a summary of lessons learned.

Recommendations / Best Practices 

  • Explain the significance of the outcomes of the program, policy, or campaign. Detail any recommendations, promising, or best practices derived from the initiative and provide strategies for implementation in other communities.

Review Criteria

  • Is there a clear background and justified project objective(s)?

  • Is the abstract in line with one of the conference tracks? 

  • Does the abstract clearly fall under one of the subcategories?

  • Are the project outcomes significant and clearly presented?

  • Are the recommendations, best, or promising practices realistic and feasible?

  • Is the work reported original and does it contribute to improving health outcomes specifically for African Americans?


SEPTEMBER 6 - 8, 2023



Abstract Format

Video Submissions

  • Abstracts must be in English.

  • Abstracts should describe original work.

  • In total, the abstract text should contain no more than 250 words.

  • Publicly or privately accessible links to images may be included during the submission process. Images will not be reviewed via email and there is no alternative option to upload.

  • Abstracts must be submitted via the online form. Emailed abstracts will not be accepted.

  • All abstracts must include at least one measurable outcome audiences can learn from.

  • Authors with previous speaking engagements are preferred and strongly encouraged to submit either a video link from a previous presentation or a four (4) minute video.

  • Video should be four (4) minutes maximum.

  • Only one (1) video allowed.

  • All videos must be publicly or privately posted to YouTube.

  • Author name, project dates, project title, and audience learning objective must be included in the information section of the video.
    Authors should provide the link to the video in the abstract submission form.

Abstract Review & Selection

A peer-review process will be conducted on all submitted abstracts and carried out by The State of Black Health Abstract Review Committee. Each abstract will be reviewed by at least three reviewers. 


The Abstract Committee will make the final selection.

Key 2023 Dates

March 6

  • Call for abstracts open

April 14

  • DEADLINE for abstract submissions


May 19

  • Notification of accepted abstracts & authors

May 26

  • Authors must notify The Center of accepted offer and intent to participate in State of Black Health National 2023


Additional Important Information

Notification of acceptance or rejection will be sent to the submitting author. Please note that only the corresponding author will receive an email concerning the abstract and is responsible for informing all co-authors of the status of the abstract. Authors whose abstracts have been accepted will receive instructions for the presentation of the abstract.

Presenters of accepted abstracts must register to attend the conference. Failure to register will result in removal of the presentation from the conference program. The Center for Black Health & Equity will provide scholarships to cover the cost of registration for presenters who express financial hardship. Please inform us on your submission application if you will need financial assistance for the cost of registration.

Authors will be provided with a presentation template when notified of acceptance. Final presentations are due on August 29th, 2023, by 11:59 pm EST. Presenters should also plan to participate in one call to discuss the presentation with conference organizers.

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