Our Mission

The mission of the Southern Black Policy and Advocacy Network is to improve health outcomes and to reduce social, and economic disparities impacting Black communities living in the U.S. South.


Black southern collective identity stems from the historic, political, demographic, and cultural distinctiveness that sets apart this region from any other in the United States. As a result, Black communities living in the U.S. South face a disproportionally high number of health disparities directly linked to the social and economic barriers rooted in the unique history of racism, religion, segregation, and slavery in the U.S. South. Because of this environment, the U.S. South remains the epicenter of health disparities that continue to reduce the morbidity and mortality of Black communities living in this part of the United States.













SBPAN Priorities

  • Strengthen the capacity of Black communities and leaders in the U.S. South to engage in health equity policy deliberations in order to improve federal, state, and local policy, programs, and research.

  • Expand the Black health policy and advocacy leadership pipeline in the U.S. South.

  • Enhance the collection and analysis of data to inform solutions for addressing social and economic drivers of poor health outcomes impacting Black communities in the U.S. South.

  • Improve the information dissemination and mobilization of health policy and advocacy among Black communities living in the U.S. South.



The Southern Black Policy and Advocacy Network, Inc. (SBPAN) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that was created in 2018 to improve health, social, and economic conditions facing Black communities living in the U.S. South.  The mission of SBPAN is to improve health outcomes and reduce social, and economic disparities impacting Black communities living in the U.S. South through training, education, advocacy and mobilization. SBPAN is committed to building and strengthening programs and partnerships focused on improving the health and quality of life for diverse populations of Black southern communities in the U.S., specifically those living at the intersection of marginalized Black communities including, but not limited to those who are same gender loving (SGL), lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT), youth, women, and persons over the age of 55.



Southern Black communities represent an interconnected web of people related by affinity, relationship or shared experience. This Black web exists in networks that are connected by race, culture, history, lineage, and family relationships. This definition may include people related by birth or an alternative family structure. As such, understanding this network is imperative to how policy and advocacy work is approached in order to successfully reach and engage Black communities living in the U.S. South.

As of 2010, an estimated 114,555,744 people, or 37 percent of all U.S. residents, lived in the U.S. South, represents one of the fastest growing areas in the United States.   In the report, The Black Population: 2010, 14 percent of all people in the United States identified as Black.  In 2010, 55 percent of the Black population lived in the South, and 105 Southern counties had a Black population of 50 percent or higher.