Our Impact

The Dr. Maya Angelou Foundation fulfills its mission by awarding deserving students scholarships to attend historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Dr. Angelou believed in the importance of HBCUs as a significant driver in building a strong, vibrant middle class in America. To date, over 30 HBCUs have been awarded nearly $380,000 in scholarships for worthy students. With additional funding support, our goal is to double the number of scholarships awarded year after year. The Foundation remains honored to serve as a conduit to ensure that all students have access to institutions of academic excellence.

Academic Access

The Annie Henderson and Willie Johnson Scholarship Fund

The Annie Henderson and Willie Johnson Scholarship Fund is the flagship program of the Foundation. This annual scholarship awards two (2) two-year scholarships of $3,000 each per scholarship year to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). One award will go to a general student and the other scholarship will be awarded to a physically-challenged/mobility-impaired or re-entry student. The scholarship recipients must be progressing satisfactorily in order to qualify for the second year. GPA requirement is 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.


Health Care & Equity

The Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity (MACHE) supports the learning health care system in advancing health equity and population health research by aligning scientific discoveries with best practices.

As part of the Wake Forest Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), MACHE is designated as a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded Center of Excellence with the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHHD). This prestigious designation positions us well to implement innovative approaches for improving population health. 

The center was founded in 2002 as a result of the collaborative efforts of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center (WFBMC) administration, Dr. Angelou and other key individuals. We are honored that our center carries the name of one of America’s great poets, memoirists and civil right advocates. We strive to keep Dr. Angelou’s legacy alive through our work in health equity.

Our vision is to achieve health equity for all by moving scientific discovery to action.

Our mission is dedicated to influencing health equity through:
• Translational research navigation to impact population health
• Health and biomedical science pipeline programming
• Health equity education and training

Our staff works closely to assist WFBMC investigators to increase the involvement of special populations in research. Populations of special focus include:
• Older adults (65 years of age and older)
• Children and adolescents (17 years of age and younger)
• Underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities

Key Goals and Outcomes
• Build, shape and disseminate WFBMC’s portfolio of health equity research within WFBMC.
• Facilitate integration of special populations in research projects through various venues across the WFBMC research enterprise.
• Develop educational and other programs that will contribute to the pipeline of the health equity workforce within WFBMC, in our partner academic institutions and beyond.
• Grow the number, capacity and diversity of health equity researchers at WFBMC.
• Create and nurture relationships with critical audiences in the community, in partnership with the CTSI’s Program in Community Engagement, other WFBMC interdisciplinary outreach networks and external community partners.
• Advocate conditions for the inclusion of health equity as a key component in WFBMC strategic initiatives.

Our Programs
Programs within the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity are intended to:
• Navigate the research process to support the implementation of translational research aimed at improving health equity outcomes.
• Increase opportunities for underrepresented individuals to pursue health and biomedical science careers.
• Increase knowledge and skills around health equity in meaningful ways.

Community Engagement
Community engagement contributes directly to achieving the center’s mission, and is part of all aspects of our work, including:
• Internal education.
• Actively engaging community members in research as partners, not just subjects.
• Using the knowledge of the community to understand health problems and to design interventions to improve health care outcomes.
• Educating community members on how research is done and what comes out of it.
• Sharing study results with the community and continuing the health equity conversation.


The Maya Angelou Women’s Health & Wellness Center

The Novant Health Maya Angelou Women's Health & Wellness Center has improved the quality of life in the community for more than a century by offering compassionate patient care, along with the latest medical innovations and knowledge. The idea of dedicating care specifically for women began 125 years ago in Winston, N.C., when a group of local women met to form the Ladies' Twin City Hospital Association, the forerunner of Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. In 2001, the Sara Lee Center for Women's Health was created at the medical center to provide leading-edge medical care for women in our community. Then on June 28, 2012, the center became larger and more comprehensive – with a new name.

The inspiration for the Novant Health Maya Angelou Center’s name and its focus on creating greater health and wellness among women came from Dr. Maya Angelou, who transcends generations and whose words and ideas resonate with women around the world.

​Services such as adolescent health and nutrition, breast health, bone health, behavioral health, cancer, diabetes, emergency care, maternity, midlife, stroke ​and neurosciences, and weight management are available at The Center. From teens through adulthood, each decade of a woman's life is an opportunity for growth and the pursuit of vibrant health in mind, body and spirit.

​Most recently, Novant Health provided:
• 1,327 women with free mammography screenings or clinical breast exams
• 4,468 people with stroke screenings for conditions like peripheral arterial disease, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke
• 6,662 people with free heart health education and/or blood pressure screenings
• 13,739 people with cancer education on topics like cancer wellness and prevention and information related to preventing and treating common cancers such as breast, colorectal and lung.

“I’m convinced of this: Good done anywhere is good done everywhere.”
"We are not our brother's keeper; we are our brother and we are our sister."- Dr. Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou's Medal of Freedom Reflections


Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

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