[This text was originally published in AREA Chicago #5 in October 2007]
The Pomegranate Health Collective are a group of d.i.y. (do it yourself) health activists in Chicago, IL dedicated to making health information accessible to everyone. The group is devoted to issues of health from a feminist, non-hierarchical perspective, and addresses issues of physical, mental, reproductive, and sexual health in a women-friendly, queer-friendly and trans-friendly framework. We are dedicated to offering resources and information on the mainstream healthcare industry and alternatives to it through education and outreach, including skillshares, workshops, publications, literature and actions. We encourage everyone to take their health into their own hands. We believe everyone should have equal access to good health information and care regardless of income, legal status, race, ethnicity, age, sex, gender or sexual preference, size, marital status, immigration status, religion, and physical and mental ability.
Since the group was founded early in 2005, we have organized several workshops and panel discussions on topics from AIDS, to alternative menstruation, to birthing options, to the effects of war on health. We have screened documentaries about abortion, and gathered donations of supplies for a women’s clinic in New Orleans. We have also tabled at numerous events, distributing books and pamphlets of health-related information and resources, condoms, and reusable menstrual products.
As a collective, the group operates under consensus. We organize by utilizing working groups. Working groups are small groups dedicated to a focused topic that organize somewhat independently of the major group (in this case, the general Pomegranate Health Collective). They meet independently of the major group, do their own actions and outreach under the guidelines that the major group has put forth. Currently, our active working groups are: Accessible Alternative Health, Low Income Resources, Pro Choice Activism, Sexual Health and Sex Workers’ Health.
Currently, we are tabling often, organizing educational workshops regularly, and members of the collective are writing a zine on alternative ways of perceiving and treating depression and anxiety. We are also planning to organize a larger health fair in Chicago, featuring several workshops and speakers from different organizations, on a variety of health-related topics. (Date and location TBA; Visit our website for a schedule of our upcoming events.)
We are always looking for new members and project ideas. We meet on the last Sunday of every month, from 11:00am–1:30pm at 3403 W Armitage, in the Alliance of Local Service Organizations building (which is wheelchair accessible). These meetings are open to all, so if you want to get involved in Pomegranate, drop us an email, or show up to one of these meetings.
Pomegranate Health Collective P.O. Box 08428 Chicago, IL 60608 USA Voicemail: 312-494-5818 Website: www.pomegranatecollective.org Email: info [at] pomegranatecollective [.] org