Dr. K

"If health disparity needs a face, use mine, and if it needs a mission, make it Uzima."- Dr. Kendra Outler

Uzima Anniversary Letter

Originally published August 2021

The Queen of Hip Hop Soul, Mary J Blige has a new song called Spinnin. The collaboration with legendary songwriters, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, is another anthem for us. As I started this project listening to reminiscing on the words of “My Life”, her new joint, describes how this prolonged COVID-19 new environment has made the us feel. We are spinnin’ and it feels like we are out of control. Now, with the resurgence of the Delta variant in the U.S; round and round we go.

As we celebrate the One Year Anniversary of Uzima Health and Wellness, I want to remind you that Uzima means life in Swahili. This pandemic has brought so much loss of life, physically, mentally and emotionally that we need to remind ourselves that we are living. If you are alive there is work and purpose. There is another day to believe in health and wellness.

Kendra Outler, MD, MPH
Founder & CEO

Editor's Letter | August 2020

When I thought of what to name this project, I thought of the line by the songstress Mary J Blige…If you looked into my life and see what I see. The melody and the words make so much sense. My life is all that I really can know and the same for us as a collective. I looked up the word for Life and saw UZIMA. UZIMA means full of life in Swahili.

The children of the diaspora, Black Americans, through our journey as slaves, freedmen and citizens have always made the best of life. I remember watching the monumental series Roots with the birth of babies throughout the generations; there was always a celebration of life.

Today as we wade through life in this pandemic, Mary Bassett, Director of the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights explains in an interview that Black Americans since the collection of data on vital statistics, have always been sicker and died earlier than our white counterparts.

The virus much like the earlier virus of HIV is illuminating its pattern of attack and death along socioeconomic lines. Those who are already victims of health disparity and inequity. Healthy people 2020 defines health disparity as “a particular type of health difference that is closely linked to economic, social, or environmental disadvantage. It is structural and preventable.

Uzima seeks to integrate the social, medical and political conversation so that communities of color can start to become empowered to strategically attack the social and political determinants of health that shorten our life span.

As the magazine grows, I want us to share struggles and solutions for better health. I want us to work towards Uzima, a full life.

Kendra Outler, MD, MPH
Founder & CEO