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EmPOWERED to Serve™

Structural racism is the overarching system in which public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations and other norms perpetuate racial inequity.

What does the life – and senseless deaths – of Black men and women mean for the health of Black Americans?

"Our hearts are with Jacob Blake, his family and our Kenosha community. The ongoing, systemic inequalities that affect the lived experience and health of African Americans have created an epidemic. Like any illness that spreads through a people, the impact is felt far beyond any single incident involving any single individual. This continues to be the reality we face as we try to process the latest senseless violence."  

Save the Dates Nov. 11 and Nov. 12

For two powerful livestreamed events hosted by EmPOWERED to Serve™

Health Justice

Livestreamed Wednesday, Nov. 11, at 5:30 p.m. CDT

This roundtable discussion, led by scholars from our EmPOWERED to Serve and HBCU Scholars programs, will engage in a lively, meaningful conversation about breaking down barriers to address structural racism in education and its effect on public health.

young woman using a microscope

Community Transformation Roundtable

Livestreamed Thursday, Nov. 12, at 11 a.m. CDT

Award-winning journalist Roland Martin will convene business and community leaders, philanthropists and volunteers for a lively, meaningful conversation about transforming our communities through faith, finance and business.


  • Roland Martin, Host and Managing editor, #RolandMartinUnfiltered


  • Amy Dubois Barnett, EVP and GM, Black Entertainment Television (BET)  
  • Mathew Knowles, CEO and Founder, Music World Entertainment Corporation 
  • Vashti Murphy McKenzie, Bishop, African Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Wes Moore, CEO, Robin Hood
  • Warren Thompson, President and Chairman of the Board, Thompson Hospitality 
  • Jacqueline Waggoner, President, Solutions Division, Enterprise Community Partners 

2020 2021 National EmPOWERED to Serve Business Accelerator

Now more than ever, we are determined to eliminate racial and class disparities by redoubling our commitment to overcoming barriers to health, and to addressing social inequities.

Learn more about the 2021 Business Accelerator and candidates. 

Stories of the Relentless: Relentless Cities

Relentless Cities is a series of powerful stories and conversations documenting a community’s dedicated pursuit of health in the face of COVID- 19, racial injustice, system limitations and health inequities – all being met by an unyielding spirit of resilience. We begin with a three-part series in New York City.

About EmPOWERED to Serve

EmPOWERED to Serve is a platform inspired by American Heart Association volunteers around the country who are passionate about driving change through health justice and empowerment in their communities.

Communities need localized solutions that will help individuals and families escalate beyond poverty and achieve improved life outcomes. No one knows the changes needed in a community as well as the members themselves.

Poor Infrastructure

Ambassador Program

If you’re an activist, community leader, healthcare professional, young professional or social entrepreneur who’s helping lead the way through community-centered and culturally relevant solutions then we invite you to become an EmPOWERED to Serve Ambassador.

Business Accelerator?

The  EmPOWERED to Serve Business Accelerator works with social entrepreneurs and organizations improving social determinants of health in their community, which are health risk factors, especially for underserved populations. Social determinants include, but are not limited to, race bias, income, education, stress, pollution, housing availability, transportation and access to healthy foods.

This MBA-style business training program offers virtual education for all finalists and grant funding.

Topics for business accelerator program applications include (but are not limited to):

  • Food access
  • Employment
  • Affordable housing

The application window is open until Aug. 31, 2020.

EmPOWERED and Well

Your Health is Grounded in Faith. Our Approach is Grounded in Science.

The Healthier Church Challenge empowered people to improve their health in harmony with their faith. Churches in Atlanta, Charlotte, North Carolina; Dallas, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. participated. 

The 12-week pilot program, which kicked off in February 2020, included science-based health education and coaching, weekly health and wellness sessions, and stipends to support the churches’ health ministries.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Healthier Church Challenge transitioned to live health lessons hosted via Zoom. The final lesson took place May 30. The 12 health lessons were recreated in Adobe Connect Learning environments for future participating churches.


Meet the 2020 EmPOWERED Scholars

The 2020 EmPOWERED to Serve Scholars are agents of change within their communities. These college freshmen, sophomores, and juniors each receive $10,000 to bring their visionary ideas to life, helping ensure everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be healthy.

Community Education

Our tools  support you as you journey toward improving your health and the health of those in your community.
local produce stand

COVID 19 News Room Resources

The latest COVID-19 news, information, experts and multimedia resources from the American Heart Association.

EmPOWERING headlines

News, stories and videos that impact your well-being.

Read more Health Equity Headlines

Watch EmPOWERED to Serve in Action

Videos that reflect the powerful impact EmPOWERED to Serve has in the community.

Stories that transform the world in which we live.

AHA Events in Your Area

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