Our Story

Established in June 2012

The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness is a Wisconsin based non-profit organization committed to mobilizing African American women to pursue and sustain mind-body-spirit wellness, and to raise the visibility and support of Black women’s health as a community and public health priority.

Our Mission

We energize, mobilize and support Black Women to transform their health and their lives through education, advocacy, support, and powerful partnerships.

Our Focus

We work to eliminate health disparities and other barriers impacting the lives of Black women and their families and communities. 

Our Vision

We envision a world where Black women are healthy, thriving and free. 

We will radically transform Black Women’s health by creating a world where Black women and girls live long, happy and thriving lives, defined by healthy minds, bodies and spirits.

Our History

The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness is an outgrowth of work began by Founder Lisa Peyton-Caire, who after losing her mother Roberta Peyton at the age of 64 to heart disease on May 22, 2006, launched Black Women’s Wellness Day (BWWDAY) on May 22, 2008.  Black Women’s Wellness Day is an annual health summit dedicated to informing, inspiring, and empowering women and girls to build and sustain healthy, thriving, wellness-centered lives, and brings together women, health partners, wellness practitioners, community leaders, and organizations in support and solidarity for Black women’s health.  In her own words, Ms. Peyton-Caire explains:

I realized that what happened to my mother was not the exception, but the norm for far too many women in my family and extended community. Yet, I didn’t hear any alarm bells going off. Black women all around me were dying young in the prime of their lives form largely preventable illnesses, and no one was making a sound about it. We wept, we planned and attended their funerals, and went on with life accepting this as their fate…our fate. At that point, I knew I had to do and say something to change this course. Black Women’s Wellness Day was what I dreamed up as my contribution to saving our lives”.

The day-long event began as a small gathering of 40 women in a public library in Bowie, Maryland on May 22, 2009 and has successively grown in support and attendance each year. Upon returning to Wisconsin in 2011, Ms. Peyton-Caire began work immediately to garner local support to grow and expand BWWDAY in the Greater Madison area, recognizing the great need to address alarming health and social disparities impacting Black women and their families. The overwhelming response and support of BWWDAY demonstrated the need to expand the work beyond a single event to include year round education and advocacy.

The Foundation was established in June 2012 by Ms. Peyton-Caire and a founding Board of Directors to serve as a necessary and vital vehicle to elevate and advance Black women’s health as a community and public health priority and to engage Black women in health promotion and leadership efforts to drive the change we seek.

How It All Began

2006

On May 22, 2006, Founder Lisa Peyton-Caire’s Mother, Roberta Peyton, dies at age 64 of congestive heart failure

2009

On May 22, 2009, Lisa launches and hosts the first annual Black Women’s WellnessDay in Bowie, Maryland to an audience of 40 women and family members

2010

The second annual Black Women’s Wellness Day is hosted in Bowie, Maryland

2011

The third annual Black Women’s Wellness Day is hosted in Madison, WI

2012

Lisa Peyton-Caire and founding board members establish The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness (FFBWW) as a non-profit organization in the state ofWisconsin

2014

The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness achieves federal 501c3 non profit status

2018

FFBWW secures grant to build infrastructure and expand its impact

May 2019

On May 22, 2019, FFBWW launches campaign to open Dane County’s first Black women’s health and wellness center

2020

On January 3, 2021, FFBWW opens the Black Women’s Wellness Center

2021

FFBWW launches Black Women Deserve Policy Blueprint

The Power of Our Impact

"I realized that what happened to my mother was not the exception, but the norm for far too many women in my family and extended community. Yet, I didn’t hear any alarm bells going off. Black women all around me were dying young in the prime of their lives form largely preventable illnesses, and no one was making a sound about it. We wept, we planned and attended their funerals, and went on with life accepting this as their fate…our fate. At that point, I knew I had to do and say something to change this course. Black Women’s Wellness Day was what I dreamed up as my contribution to saving our lives."
- Lisa Peyton-Caire
jackie donald
"My children and I are healthier and stronger than ever, and the Foundation will always be an important part of our lives."
christine lashore
"I never thought that I would be walking in these shoes today until everybody said, 'Yes, you can.'"
cassandra smoot-sonko
"When I met FFBWW, I was 404 pounds, on a walker and oxygen tank, and dying from heart disease and obesity. Today, I am my healthiest self ever! The Foundation has changed my life!"