August is Black Business Month, and there’s no better time to celebrate and uplift the work of Black businesses, especially those transforming the lives of people through wellness. Due to the fact that Black people have historically had to face unprecedented intergenerational trauma, focusing on our physical and mental wellness is an act of self-preservation, one that doesn’t necessarily come easily.  Whether it’s searching for a doctor that will adequately attend to medical needs, looking for a space to practice yoga free of macroaggressions, or attempting to raise funding for a wellness business, Black folks have a heavier burden to bear. 

Research shows that Black women are 3 times more likely to die during childbirth than white women, Black folks are less likely to receive adequate pain management due to racial bias in the healthcare industry, and Black folks are less likely to find a doctor of the same racial background. Unfortunately, the onus for ensuring good care is on us, and even when we want to create our own, it’s harder to receive funding, with Black-founded startups receiving just 1.3% of venture capitalist funds in 2021.

Despite the barriers to access, these entrepreneurs are transforming the health of the Black community and beyond, through education, meditation, maternal health, and more. 

Latham Thomas, owner of Mama Doula 

Latham Thomas. Image: Instagram/@glowmaven

Latham Thomas, the owner of Mama Glow, is on a mission to help women reclaim birth. As a graduate of Columbia University and The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, she is a world renown birth doula and wellness leader, transforming the wellness movement. Mama Glow is New York’s premiere maternity lifestyle brand committed to supporting women along the childbearing journey, supporting women and families during the fertility period, during pregnancy, after birth and into new motherhood, offering a full spectrum approach to holistic wellness. Thomas and her company Mama Glow also offer a globally recognized doula program, educating doula-trainees from all over the world, helping to transform the modern health care system for women and babies. 

Marc Washington, owner of Supergut 

Marc Washington. Image courtesy of subject.

Founded in memory of his beloved sister, Supergut, is on a mission to empower everyone to reclaim and sustain control over their bodies. Founded by Marc Washington, Supergut, an evidence-based and transformative food company, offers a variety of products including shakes, bars, and fiber mix, delivering results you can feel right away, aimed at strengthening your gut health and rebooting your metabolism. Backed by science and clinical trials, the company is committed to creating a healthier world and closing the health disparity gaps for multicultural communities. Washington believes that everybody deserves to have great energy, a clear mind, good sleep, and a healthy metabolism with easy and convenient foods that fit into any busy lifestyle. 

Elisa Shankle and Darian Hall, owners of HealHaus

Healhaus founders Darian Hall and Elisa Shankle. Image courtesy of subjects.

Located in Brooklyn, NY, HealthHaus is committed to building a community that is dedicated to changing the stigma attached to healing. Founded by Darian Hall, who formerly worked in the medical field, and Elisa Shankle, a Reiki level 2 practitioner who attended Pratt University and previously ran a successful design business, the pair has combined diverse healing modalities and practitioners under one roof to provide people with an inclusive space focused on health and wellness. The pair strongly believes that wellness doesn’t have to look or feel one certain way; that you can be a multifaceted person and still be committed to personal evolution. 

Philip Garner, owner of Garner’s Garden 

Philip Garner of Garner's Garden. Image: courtesy of Garner's Garden.

Philip Garner is the first African American to manufacture and produce his own line of toothpaste and antibacterial mouthwash. Founded in 2012, Garner’s Garden is committed to helping people live healthier lifestyles by creating a variety of natural beauty products that are handmade and crafted with high-quality ingredients. Garner started his business with one thing in mind; to make 100% affordable natural skincare products. He started with his products being sold at local farmer’s markets and small events. But the company has since blown up, garnering national coverage in a variety of publications and is now sold online.

Sabia Wade, doula and reproductive justice advocate

Sabia Wade. Image: courtesy of subject.

Known as “The Black Doula” Sabia Wade, CEO, DC is on a mission of building bridges for a more inclusive, diverse, and equitable world through reproductive justice, distribution of financial wealth to BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities, and investing in emergent and innovative businesses. As a doula and supporter of BADT (Birthing Advocacy Doula Trainings), Wade is developing a series of reproductive justice workshops on futurist perspectives and emergent strategies that involve community discussion. During these workshops, Wade will guide attendees through collective exercises to educate and inspire action. 

Dr. Gregory Scott Brown, author of The Self-Healing Mind

Author Dr. Gregory Scott Brown. Image: courtesy of subject

Board-certified psychiatrist, mental health writer, and author of The Self-Healing Mind, Dr. Gregory Scott Brown believes having “open and honest conversations” about mental health can help us fight the stigma. He advocates for evidence-based integrative care that includes incorporating exercise, mindfulness, meditation and nutrition with standard care and treatments for mental illness. As a Black man, Dr. Brown is a huge advocate for the mental health of for his community.