Black Women Roc! Month Spotlight | Phyllis Jackson


We are pleased to highlight Phyllis Jackson as our

second Black Women Roc! feature for the Month of June

About Phyllis Jackson

Phyllis Jackson is the Founder of IHMC (Interdenominational Health Ministry Coalition). A website based on the concept of “Health is a Spiritual Matter,”  IHMC’s goal is to provide community residents with information, resources, support and encouragement to help them become, healthy and whole, spiritually, physically, and mentally. 

How does it feel to be nominated for the 2018 Black Women Roc! Campaign

PJ: I have always been involved in community, in some way or another, most of my life. As a person in ministry I believe I am called to walk out my faith in everyday life; where I live, work, worship and play, and that means engaging with my community.

When did you begin the community engagement work that you do?

PJ: I have always been involved in community, in some way or another, most of my life. As a person in ministry I believe I am called to walk out my faith in everyday life; where I live, work, worship and play, and that means engaging with my community.

What inspires you to continue to work hard for the Rochester Community!

PJ: IHMC was officially launched in December 2012

For you how does your business or area of expertise relate to wellness?

PJ: IHMC is all about helping people live wholeness of body, mind, and spirit. Wholeness equals wellness.

How do you stay mentally and physically healthy ?

PJ: I pray, worship, and practice thanksgiving. I work, I play, I laugh, I love and I engage with people. Especially young people. They push me to challenge myself and be the best me I can be. I try to eat well, get exercise and I manage my health and health care jointly with my health care provider.

What do you feel is the most challenging aspect of your community engagement?

PJ: For me the most challenging aspects are not with the community but with myself. Remembering to pace myself and practice the mantra that I preach to others “CARE for YOURSELF”. The other huge challenge is accepting that I can’t do it all. I can’t fix everything wrong and every bodies problems. That I can only do what I can, the best I can, and leave the rest to God and others who are grinding along with me. For a fixer, like me, that is hard and can actually hinder the work.

What are you working on now?

PJ: Well, IHMC has begun working on our annual “Health is a Spiritual Matter” conference, coming in October, 2018. This year the theme is focused on women’s wellness and well being with some special events just for the ladies. We are sponsoring a “Spiritually Fit” mini conference to engage millennials in conversation about how to bridge the gap between them and the elders so that our community can benefit from what each age brings to the table in this collaborative work

  • I am engaging with a group of faith leaders to work on a support and educational program for young ministers
  • I am part of a research project called ENGOAL which stands for Engaging Older Adult Learners in health research.
  • I am part of a team doing an investigational study on self harm/injury and suicide among African Americans, particularly those involved in a church or faith community. And a few other things, like my job as a Community Wellness Project Manager at Common Ground Health  which is a real joy to do.

What’s has been your best experience as a Black female change agent in Rochester?

PJ: I have had so many but my best so far has been leading this wonderful, inspiring, passionate, caring, dedicated and hard working group of people known as the interdenominational Health Ministry Coalition. They are the heroes who are influencing the way health care is done in this community, they are the real change agents

What has been your biggest challenge as a Black female change agent in Rochester?

PJ: Because I work in health care and ministry I think the challenges I face are of a more global or universal nature rather than because I am Black or female. Health care inequities, health disparities, overcoming stigmas associated with various diseases or condition, and engaging the faith community, as a united body and on a more granular level, in dealing with these problems.

Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?

PJ: I am as well as many others are still working on it. I just keep grinding away. Collaborating with others in the community, working with the health ministries through IHMC, providing mental health education through our Renewing of the Mind classes, sitting on variety of boards, all have an impact, I believe, on challenges we face as a community

What advice do you have for other women interested in community activism/engagement work?

PJ: Follow your passion. Look for opportunities to serve even if that opportunity may not seem to fit in your exact plan. Be willing to collaborate with others. Find out who is doing it and join in. 

Is there anything else you’d like the readers to know?

PJ: Don’t let your past mistakes or the past mistakes of others hinder your future. Learn from your past and keep moving. We all can make a difference if we choose to. 

Please list any contact info you’d like to include (blog, twitter, email, FB, etc): // // Health Ministry Coalition

Published by Calvin Eaton

(he/his/him) Calvin Eaton is a disabled community educator, content creator, and social entrepreneur, whose area of expertise includes antiracism, equity, justice, instructional design, and program development. In 2016 Mr. Eaton founded 540WMain, Inc. a non-profit online and community-based organization for accessible education and events that promote justice for all.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: